Freedom of the press is much simpler in theory than in practice. In this activity, students use the E.S.C.A.P.E. strategy to closely analyze a historical source, shedding light on how freedom of the press has ignited controversy and drawing comparisons to today’s debates over the role of the media.
GRADE LEVEL: Middle and high school
TIME: 30–60 minutes
MATERIALS: Copies of the Free Press Challenges Through History worksheet; access to the gallery of historical sources on this page (either printed copies or via devices); E.S.C.A.P.E. Junk News poster (for reference, optional download); internet access (optional)
- Make copies of the Free Press Challenges Through History worksheet, one per student.
- Review the gallery of historical sources on this page. For additional background, read the artifact page on newseumED.org of each source: Civil War Editorial Cartoon, Newspaper Coverage of a Forged Proclamation, and Civil Rights Ads Leads to Lawsuit.