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Democracy and the "Free Press"

Free press is essential to democracy because it is the greatest watchdog of the government for the people. If there were no free press, common individuals would have virtually no information of what the government was doing, how the elected officials were behaving, or anything that keeps the country and its leaders in check with the people. Americans give themselves a huge pat on the back for maintaining free press in comparison to many other governments in the world; however the greatest downfall of this free press (especially with today’s technology) is that even with all the access to information very few Americans pay attention to political events. While the 2016 election has seemingly altered a lot of that, with news being shoved in everyone's face on virtually every platform, I think this almost random 180 turn of events has also just pushed people even further away from wanting to pay attention. From a personal perspective, I have plenty of friends back home that are either my age or older that prefer to not know what’s going on in the world because it’s “too depressing”. People are choosing to live by a “ignorance is bliss” mentality without taking into account that free press encompases having the freedom to know the good and especially the bad in the world or with our own government. Similarly, maintaining a democracy with people that have little interest in what is going on both domestically and internationally is difficult because how will individuals understand or grasp events that can detrimentally influence their current lives or situations? A free press, while arguably commercialized and partisan in today’s standards, is the ability to openly criticize a government or an official or any sort of concept that an individual disagrees with. If few Americans pay little attention to political events, it appears in every creavas of the nation’s actions because of the elected officials or government’s actions overstepping boundaries that citizens were too interested to pay attention to.