This independent oversight is threatened, therefore, when the State believes it has the right to oversee the modus operandi of the press (beyond the general legal norms which are prescribed for all citizens). Will the Fourth Estate be punished with legal coercion for publishing information that uncovers official malfeasance? Or will it tailor its reporting to satisfy its political masters, enabling future acts of impropriety?
Students of Public Choice, then, believe a free press is a necessary safeguard to individual liberty.
My full argument for the Institute of Economic Affairs is here.
#DMI_Reads Update — Two volumes are in the reading queue this month: A Humane Economy (Regnery, 1960) by Wilhelm Röpke and Economic Sophisms—First Series (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2011) by Frédéric Bastiat.