The Imperative of Freedom
by John C. Merrill

A libertarian philosophy for journalists. He combines arguments from Rand, Kant, the existentialists, and classical liberals to call for a laissez faire, individualistic, competitive, free-market in journalism. He stresses autonomy and commitment for journalists. He cites Tucilli's Radical Libertarianism in the preface as one of the most influential books for him.

The book has more philosophy than communication theory, and it would be better if he left out the simple-minded communication-theory stuff. He finds it necessary to refute several silly journalistic models, and he has a proclivity for pseudo-scientific graphics. Nevertheless, I like his synthesis of Kant, existentialism, and libertarianism. He also makes some good points against such ideas as "the responsibility of the press," the "people's right to know," "professionalism" in journalism, and "the right of access to the media."

Year Read: 1975


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