On Press Freedom

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience above all liberties.”
John Milton, Aeropagitica [1644]

“The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty,
and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.”
George Mason, Virginia Bill of Rights [1776]

 “A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize;
it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny.”
Winston Churchill [1949]

“Freedom of the press is perhaps the freedom that has suffered the most
 from a gradual degradation of the idea of liberty.”
Albert Camus, Resistance Rebellion, and Death [1960]

“The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.”

Hannah Arendt, in a 1974 interview with French writer Roger Errera,
and subsequently published in The New York Review of Books (October 26, 1978)

The above epigrams from John Milton, George Mason, Winston Churchill, Albert Camus and Hannah Arendt—five people from different nations and of differing world views—speak, however, a common language when it comes to the freedom to speak without fear.They agree in spirit to the fundamental need of maintaining free press within a democratic society.The only people that fear a free press are despots, tyrants, dictators and autocrats. For my views on press freedom, I recommend that you read “Defending Journalism.”