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Sedition Act of 1798 - Assignment Example

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Summary
John Zenger’s article in the New York Weekly Journal specifically presents the author’s arguments about libel and therefore indirectly opposes the Sedition Act of 1798. The author, in disagreement with the Act, states that “The expofing therefore of Publick Wickedness, as…
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Article on the Sedition Act of 1798 John Zenger’s article in the New York Weekly Journal specifically presents the arguments about libel andtherefore indirectly opposes the Sedition Act of 1798. The author, in disagreement with the Act, states that “The expofing therefore of Publick Wickedness, as it is a Duty which every Man owes to the Truth and his Country, can never be a Libel in the Nature of Things?” (Zenger par 4). The author argues that every man ought not to be considered libelous if they expose public wickedness or the wrongs done by senior government authorities considering that telling the truth is part of their honorable duty to the country. In the article, the author takes a strong position in condemning what the authorities consider to be libel. In fact, he considers libels against the people (probably government leaders and federalists who were in favor of the Sedition Act) as the true libels.
Zenger’s articulates his opinion without fear even though such expressions as he used would put him in danger of being apprehended for breaking the law. At the time the newspaper was written, freedom of expression in the United States of America was under threat even as the federalists felt the need to prevent the people from expressing anti-government sentiments publicly as presented by Early America (par 2). At this time, journalists seemed to focus on the real issues facing society (in this case freedom of speech and information) as opposed to today’s focus on politics. Today, journalists tend to be afraid of expressing strong sentiments that go against the government or law.
Works Cited
Early America. Peter Zenger and Freedom of the Press. Nd. Web. http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/bookmarks/zenger/
Zenger John. The New York Weekly Journal. February 25, 1733. XVII. Web. http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/bookmarks/zenger/zenger1.html
Subject: Journalism, mass media and communication, Assignment
Topic:  Sedition Act of 1798
Instructions:
-your exploration into original newspaper coverage during the early
years of the United States. The subject this time is the Sedition Act
of 1798. I want you to find, read, and discuss one original newspaper
account relating to this law and its enforcement. I then want you to
compare the journalistic style illustrated in this article to
current-day notions of journalism and to post your findings, by
replying to an earlier post about the same publication that you
reviewed and adding your findings and reactions or by initiating a new
conversation if your article comes from another publication.
-The concept of “news" during and after the American Revolution has to
be understood within the context of that time. Examining the newspaper
coverage relating to the Sedition Act of 1798 will give us a sense of
how news reflected the concerns of those editors and their society,
and how the concept of news then differs from news today.
-Feel free to search for online publications published during this
time period (1798 to 1804) in other collections
-Be sure to copy the link (url) and the name of the collection for the
article. If you have trouble copying the link or are not sure that it
will work, feel free to copy the document into a Word or a PDF file
and include that, along with the bibliographic citation (e.g.,
publication name, location, date, headline (if any), writers name (if
listed), and page number (if listed) when you post your comments.
-Once you’ve found an original article (be sure that it’s not a
transcript of the law itself - several newspapers just printed the
text of the law), then write a brief summary (one or two sentences)
and include whether the piece conveyed a partisan tone. In other
words, could you tell whether the writer agreed with the Sedition Act
and supported the Federalist cause and President John Adams or
disagreed with it and supported the anti-Federalist (Republican) cause
and Thomas Jefferson? Give at least one example from the article to
support your conclusion.
Instructions files attached:
Level:          Undergraduate
Style:  MLA
Language Style:         English (U.S.)
Grade:          n/a
Pages:  1
Sources:        2 Read More
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