What lessons did John Milton's Areopagitica bring to journalists today?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Milton's essay brings much in way of support for journalists.  There seems to be a very strong call in way of disclosure and openness about works produced.  Milton does not seem to embrace government censorship, but rather embraces an open discourse where more understanding and knowledge can be gained so that human beings fight through their own imperfections and become better.  When individuals satisfy this basic need "to know," Milton believes that improvement cannot be far behind.,  This appeals to the modern journalist who is driven by the need to be open and to disclose truths that are of the public interest.  While there might be disagreement to motives, Julian Assange has been making a similar claim with his disclosures on WikiLeaks, in which he has argued that the public has a right to know what its government does.  Certainly, he echoes Milton's notion that there should be no fear of "free and open encounter."  In this light, Milton's work speaks clearly to the journalist of today.