Commission on Freedom of the Press

The Commission on Freedom of the Press, also known as the Hutchins Commission, was established in 1943 to study U.S. press freedom. It produced a landmark work in journalism studies, the book A Free and Responsible Press (1947). A Free and Responsible Press, the product of a unique collaboration of American public intellectuals, presents a sophisticated analysis of the news media in a democracy, one that transcends its times. This entry first discusses the origins and operations of the commission. It then looks at the commission’s findings and the impact of A Free and Responsible Press.

Origins and Operations

In the early 1940s, Time Inc. editor-in-chief Henry R. Luce broached an idea to his friend Robert Maynard Hutchins, president (later chancellor) of the University of Chicago. Noting ...

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