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In 1735, a journalist from the New York colony, John Peter Zenger, was put in prison and nearly sentenced to death just for writing some criticism of the Royal Governor in the newspaper. When the Bill of Rights was written years later, many Americans wanted to be sure that no journalist would be punished for reporting the news in a way the president or powerful people did not like. In the old days, "the press" was what we today call "the media," so freedom of the press (named after the machine that printed the newspapers-- the printing press) meant you are free to express your beliefs and opinions in a newspaper or magazine (or today, on TV or radio or the internet).

The part of the Bill of Rights about petitioning the government for a redress of grievances just means you have the right to disagree with the government and to let them know. You can complain about what the government is doing-- you can protest, march, demonstrate, vote for somebody else ... and you cannot be punished for expressing your anti-government views, as long as you do so peacefully.

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12y ago
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15y ago

the freedom of press means that the cameras don't have to stop rolling. and the freedom of speech means you can say what ever you want unless you violate someone elses rights, you can even talk about the president in a mean way if you want

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14y ago

basic rights

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Q: What is the freedom of press and petition?
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