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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

James Madison and Freedom of the Press

James Madison (1751-1836) is well known as the fourth President of the United States and the Father of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. His influence on press freedom is less well know. But his advocacy of checks and balances on political power in the US through the establishment of the separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judical branches laid the foundation for the idea of the press as an (informal) "fourth estate" of government. In that capacity, the press was to keep the people informed about the workings of their government so they could make educated decisions about the the direction of the country. That included acting in the "watchdog" capacity exposing corruption when necessary. This paper examines Madison's contributions to press freedom in the United States and suggests concerns he might have about the current state of American journalism and what it might mean for democracy.

Presenters: Angela Archunde (Undergraduate Student)
Laura Luettger (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 107 Holmes
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)