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A free press supporting informed and engaged communities is at risk

Thomas Jefferson sued the Hartford Courant for libel. (He lost.) But Jefferson still believed that, given the choice of government without newspapers or newspapers without government, “I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers, and be capable of reading them.” Today, however, Jefferson’s vision of a free press supporting informed and engaged communities, the prerequisite to a well-functioning democracy, is at risk. The good news is there is hope, and everyone has a role to play.