Media and Democracy: HONS 395

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I was interested in this class from the start because my mother is a high school government teacher, and instilled in me from a young age the importance of staying informed and voting. Most kids grew up with their parents listening to classic rock on the radio in the car, but I have much fonder memories of NPR. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed spending a semester understanding how the press influenced the founding fathers, our young nation, and how the freedom of the press established in the constitution laid the groundwork for not only our modern media but also our modern society and how we learn. I also learned how there have been challenges to the free press, and the times when the press has not served to unite and educate the American public, but rather to divide and blind us. This essay I wrote delves into the issue of the history of coverage of racial issues by southern newspapers in America, and how papers such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch can continue to improve to better fulfill their role as a public institutio.