Why the First Amendment Might Be in Trouble

Siyan (Joann) Wen
HCC-Engl 1302 – Section #99222
Draft 3 – Midterm Essay
Why the First Amendment (and Journalism) Might Be in Trouble
The United States has been a role model proudly for individual freedom and rights for the past 200 years. Ask anybody the single best word to describe America; everybody will shout “freedom!” But if you ask any citizens of the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment, less than 5 out of 100 will name it correctly. In Ken Dautrich and John Bare’s “Why the First Amendment Might Be in Trouble” an article published by Nieman Reports in the summer of 2005, Dautrich and Bare assert the ignorance and indifference by young generations today of the first amendment and they claim urgent education and resources high school students need to raise awareness of the cornerstone in our way of life.
Dautrich and Bare argue high school students as well as student leaders should be educated about the First Amendment, raise awareness of it and socialize young generations into the democratic value that were established by the founding fathers, otherwise it would allow government to further intrude on their freedom in the future, and eventually destroy democracy. Both Dautrich and Bare appear to be very educated in the public policy and education field. They come across as profound and thoughtful, the article is very well organized and well written, earning respect of the readers and relatable to scholars as well as influential officials. Further research reveals that they published many books, articles and manuscripts on elections, public opinions, public policy and voting, so they have some vested interest in this debate. The audiences they are targeting are more likely to be high school officials and principals. It could also be high school newspaper editors, roughly between the ages of 14-60. This audience has the access and power to influence high school students in order to educate them about first amendment. Their writing...