Freedom of the Press Gets Its Start

Posted by Judy on Nov 5th 2021

On November 5, 1733, John Peter Zenger published the first issue of the New York Weekly Journal newspaper. It sparked a landmark trial for freedom of the press. In the traditional English way of life, those who spoke out against the government could be tried and punished as traitors. Zenger was found not guilty of the charge of seditious libel, specifically because what he printed was true. This began a nationwide movement which continued until the close of the Revolutionary War and the establishment of the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.