ERIC Number: ED172219
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
John Milton's Place in Journalism History: Champion or Turncoat?
Fackler, Paul M.; Christians, Clifford G.
Historians of journalism cite John Milton's speech "Areopagitica" as the first major English-language document to articulate the ideas of free speech and freedom of the press. Milton's reputation as spokesman for freedom to publish is sullied, however, by his having served as Cromwell's press licenser. Historians of journalism have attacked Milton's "censorship" as evidence of contradiction and compromise of his ideals. An examination of the nature of his responsibility as licenser within his social, political, and personal situation leads to a different conclusion, however: that his commitment to the ideal of just and virtuous government gave him warrant for direct involvement in the political life of the Commonwealth, and that in his role as licenser, he merely played the role of senior editor rather than authoritarian censor, and contributed little aside from his bureaucratic imprimatur. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A