Sam Lebovic, author of Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America, will present a lecture on the topic on Monday, Oct. 16, at 4 p.m., in the Red Pit. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Lebovic is an assistant professor of history at George Mason University. He is a historian of American politics and culture, with particular interests in mass media, democracy, civil liberties, and the role of the U.S. in the world.
His book, Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America, was published by Harvard University Press in 2016. A comprehensive history of press freedom in theory, law, and practice from the dawn of the 20th century until the present, the book argues that the First Amendment right to free speech has been insufficient to guarantee a free press. Exploring problems ranging from the rise of state secrecy to the corporate consolidation of the newspaper industry, the book uses the history of press freedom to ask new questions about the role of the press in American democracy, and to better explain the crises that beset today’s press during the “war on whistleblowers” and the ongoing death of the daily newspaper.