John F. Kennedy on Citizen Engagement

Blog Wisdom

“Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive.  That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants” but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”  – President John F. Kennedy's “The President And The Press” Address Before The American Newspaper Publishers Association; Waldorf-Astoria Hotel – April 27, 1961

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