Colonial and Early American Journalism
The Fourth Estate: Journalism in North America
Reading Level: 8
Interest Level: 7-12
From its earliest days, the press played a pivotal role in American politics and civic life. The trial of printer John Peter Zenger in 1735 established the principle of the free press, and publishers throughout the colonies quickly embraced the concept. The controversy over independence was hotly debated in newspapers. Through letters and debates, the press helped shape the idea of a uniquely American identity. This volume demonstrates how freedom of the press is part of American heritage from colonial times and how it remains essential to democracy to this day.