Does America have a free press? Many who answer yes appeal to First Amendment protections that shield the press from government censorship. But Sam Lebovic’s history of modern press freedom shows that the right to free speech has been insufficient to guarantee a free press in an age of rising state secrecy and corporate newspaper consolidation. The origins of our contemporary newspaper crises, he suggests, can be traced to failed twentieth-century efforts to guarantee a public right to the news.
Sam Lebovic is Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University. He received a PhD from the University of Chicago and has published articles on the role of the media in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the history of the Fulbright program, and on the history of popular culture during World War II. His work on the history of press freedom was awarded the American Society for Legal History’s Paul Murphy Prize in the History of Civil Liberties in 2012, and has been supported by fellowships from the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, The Center for the Cold War and the U.S. at New York University, and the Truman Library Institute.
4:00pm – 5:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom
The seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by theNational History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.