The press is free within America and France, but according to Tocqueville, both hold different characteristics. The press in France holds a central voice and therefore role. On top of that, the people within France are less inclined to voice opinion due to legislation. This allows the press to voice its opinion and sway the masses. The press in America is quite the opposite. It is not only free but decentralized. Opinions are less valuable because everyone has one, and they are all equal.The American people have no influence on each other’s opinions, due to lacking any real power compared to one another. They are all under the umbrella of equality. In American ideal, all people are equal, and Tocqueville suggests that even the press isn’t safe from that category. All the press is not only equal to itself, but the American people see the press as another citizen’s opinion being printed, so why should its opinion shape the rest? Therefore, the press must be centralized and gain a majority voice to hold any authority.
The press is a means of publishing ideas and distributing them to the public. The press is free because the nation is built on the fundamental view of equality in man; thus, all man has to offer. The press can express opinions on the government, distribute news about the government or the nation, and expose the government’s underbelly. Because America is about the freedom of opinion and the equality of man, there is a lack of necessity for moral debate within the press. The people do not care about moral differences of the nation, only the fundamental code of ethics that legislation proposes. Therefore, the press has taken a different role. It has a very materialistic and factual. The press expresses many different attitudes and ideas. This leads to clashing thoughts and words throughout the entire press, this shows the innate freedom, but it also hinders the influence of the press as opinionating become common place.
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The press could have a lot of influence on the people’s opinion, and it could also have very little. In France, Tocqueville states, the press is centralized. This allows the press to give a singular opinion being pushed to the public. A singular opinion allows the French press to sway the public easily. In America, the situation is the latter, according to Tocqueville, because of the multiple voices within the press and the specific values America itself holds. America itself believes in the freedom of the people and the equality of man. This gives less influence. The many voices within press, not only do they have to compete, but they are also seen as equal to the public itself. The press can influence how the public sees and interprets a subject within politics, government, or even life. The requirement for the press to do this is centralization. The press needs to have a singular voice. Just like the people, the press is all equal; therefore, having a singular voice across the entire outlet of media would stir the people. This is like how Tocqueville believes the majority, in democracy, hold the true authority of belief. The decentralized nature of the press causes the public to feel less inclined to join a cause that doesn’t immediately affect them.
The public confides in the press to share the information that the federal government isn’t sharing. They need facts and be shown how the situation affects them. The public doesn’t trust the opinion of the press, and therefore doesn’t trust the press itself. The public sees the press as a funnel of information because the press itself funnels many ideas to the public. On top of that, the public also provides the mean for the press to fund itself. This means the press becomes a producer in a capitalistic competition with itself. The consumer, in turn, is the public. Therefore, the public get to not only decided, inherently, what is published, but what information has the most value. This also means, the public decides what journalist have the most value and integrity, and therefore, the most ability to sway opinion.
Journalist themselves hold a major role within the press. They build the ideas and package them in publications to be distributed. The public, however, has the freedom to choose where it obtains these packages. Because there are many attitudes and ideas being expressed at the same time, there are also many places to obtain the ideas and less journalist worth listening to. This makes the opinions of the many voices seem arbitrary and muffled, creating the consumerism. To create a publication that the public not only wants to see but wants to pay for ergo funding the entire publication team, journalist need to get interest from the people and they do this by presenting facts. Anyone can write about their opinion on legislation, in fact the people themselves already opinionate that themselves, so allowing the public to create their own opinion is much more interesting.
The American people have no influence on each other’s opinions, due to lacking any real power compared to one another. They are all under the umbrella of equality. In American ideal, all people are equal, and Tocqueville suggests that even the press isn’t safe from that category. All the press is not only equal to itself, but the American people see the press as another citizen’s opinion being printed, so why should its opinion shape the rest? Therefore, the press must be centralized and gain a majority voice to hold any authority.