Why We Need the First Amendment and Newspapers

By Christopher Wong, Chief Editor

Events play out around us every day. Good and evil act out and bring charity, hope, tragedy, and anger. The population needs a way to hear about all of these acts. Most importantly, the public needs the truth. That is why the world needs newspapers. Newspapers spread the truth and help all of us expand our worldview. Despite this need, newspapers are dying across the world. The SCUSD currently only has two school newspapers, The Kennedy Clarion and the CKM Prospector. How will information be spread among the students? How will students have a voice?

Even with newspapers, the truth will not be uncovered and democracy will not function unless all of America effectively uses its First Amendment rights. Thomas Jefferson defended newspapers, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Freedom of speech and press allow valuable discussion without fear of government censorship. Freedom to peacefully assemble and protest allows action on that discussion. Freedom of religion allows celebration of America’s differences. Still, these rights do nothing if they are used improperly. Lies and hate speech are unacceptable and only divide the country. Violence causes further division and tragedy.

In order to move this country forward, it is up to this generation and every generation forward to use First Amendment rights correctly. Newspapers continue to better society and spread the truth, good and bad.

It is safe to say that The Clarion is the best newspaper in the district, but ultimately, thanks to the amazing support of all the Kennedy family, this is the best school in Sacramento. All of The Clarion hopes to keep it that way and make JFK even better.


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