What is “the press?” Is it limited to large news agencies? Does the press include small town news papers? How about a college student who hammered out a weekly one-page paper highlighting some of the goings on in the dormitory?
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that clamping down on ANY kind of speech or the press, including, if not especially that which others find distasteful or objectionable, constitutes a direct and heinous violation of our First Amendment rights.
The “freedom of speech” part applies to everyone, regardless of the platform or message. The “press” part applies to the press, but what, really, is “the press?”
At 12, Benjamin Franklin became an apprentice to his brother James, a printer, who taught Ben the printing trade. When Ben was 15, James founded The New-England Courant, which was the first truly independent newspaper in the colonies. Was that “the press?” Absolutely.
Fifteen years ago, my first professional article was published in a well-known journal of the IT industry. Was that “the press?” Absolutely.
This very minute, I am writing an article expressing my opinion about our First Amendment’s protection of our rights to freely express our opinions about anything.
So… Is this “the press?”
Even if it weren’t, Congress is still prohibited against making any law that abridges the freedom of speech. Rest assured, however, this blog is most certainly “the press” as mentioned in the Constitution.