Q1. As you may know, the First Amendment is part of the U.S. Constitution. Can you name any of the specific rights that are guaranteed by the First Amendment?
In the First Amendment I can name three specific rights that are guaranteed by this Amendment. One of them is the Freedom of speech, the second is freedom of religion and lastly freedom is the press. Two of the freedoms that I could not name were the right to petition and the right of assembly. Most of the people surveyed also did not know the last two. It is probably because it is rarely discussed compared to the first three that you may hear more often. Q2. The First Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution more than 200 years ago. This is what it says:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Based on your own feelings about the First Amendment, please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: The First Amendment gores too far in the rights it guarantees.
I disagree with that statement because we do have our rights and should be allowed to practice free speech, religion, etc. As long as it does not break any other laws or hurt people this should be the right of all of the American people. Q3. Overall, do you think the PRESS in America has too much freedom to do what it wants, too little freedom to do what it wants, or is the amount of freedom the press has about right?
As of now I personally believe the press has about the right amount of freedom to say what they need to say. As long as it is appropriate we all (even the press) can have their freedom of speech. Q4. Even though the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, government has placed some restrictions on it. Overall, do you think Americans have too much religious freedom, too little, or is the amount about right?
I believe the amount of religious freedom is about right. There should be some restrictions if a religion requires human sacrifices for example. That should be illegal even if it is apart of a religion. The only think I personally disagree on is the law of no God in school and not saying the pledge of allegiance because of the mention of the word “God”. Q5. In your view, who should be primarily responsible for keeping inappropriate material on television away from children: parents, Government Officials, or broadcasters?
Parents should be the main responsible party for watching over their own kids around inappropriate material on television. On TV they usually have a warning about material on certain shows so parents can be away for the content Parents have the authority of what their kids watch. Q6. Some people feel that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to make it illegal to burn or desecrate the American flag as a form of political dissent. Others say that the U.S. Constitution should not be amended to specifically prohibit flag burning or desecration. Do you think the U.S. Constitution should or should not be amended to prohibit burning or desecrating the American flag?
I believe it should not be amended because I do not see any reason for the flag to be burned. I see it as being disrespectful to the whole American society. It stands for freedom and I am proud to say I am an American. Q7. N/A
Q8. Musicians should be allowed to sing songs with lyrics that others might find offensive. Yes/No
I am neutral on this topic. I would have to learn towards no but I still believe in the freedom of speech. As long as there are warnings that a song is explicit then it is the choice of a person to either listen or ignore to listen to that song. Q9. Overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias. Yes/No I mildly agree. When it has to deal with politics people definitely have their own opinions and the news media may learn towards one way but in most cases I feel like they try to report without any bias. Q10. It is important for our democracy that the news media acts as a watchdog on government. Yes/No
I agree because I learn a lot on what the government does through the news media. They should keep the American population up-to-date since most Americans turn to the news media for all of their information. Q11. How reliable news source is Twitter—would you say it is very reliable, somewhat reliable, not too reliable, or not at all?
I do not even use Twitter. Social networks are not a reliable source to turn to when trying to find out information on the news. It can be a lot of gossip and false statements on social networks. Anyone can post things so you should not believe everything you see on those types of sites. Q12a. Based on the last major news event you can recall, did you first learn it from… I learned it first from a friend and then my second source would be the news media to confirm the major news event. Q12b. The next time that you want to get news about some event that is happening—where will you first go to get that news?
I would definitely go to the news media on television. I feel as if I get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the television than anywhere else. Q13. How would you compare news on social-networking sites to news on websites operated by your local newspaper—do you trust news on social-networking sites more, less, or about the same?
I trust social-networking less than I would from websites operated by a local newspaper. It is their job to keep the information accurate and true.
Two things that have surprised me in the survey and from my answers was how a lot of us Americans do not know all of the First Amendment and how most of us answered the questions with the same answers.