Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Remembering JFK: His Amazing Speech On Secrecy And The Responsibilities Of Newspapers

Posted by Tom Foremski - November 22, 2013

John F. Kennedy was one of the country’s most literate and best educated presidents. He is also the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.

Here’s some extracts from the incredible speech above:

“The very word “secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings..."

“…there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control."

“…that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment— the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"

—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

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