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Dr. Melony Shemberger

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

John Peter Zenger spent nearly eight months in jail starting in 1734 but still printed The New York Weekly Journal with the help of his wife while he was on trial for seditious libel. In those days, libel was anything that was against the government. It didn’t matter if the information was true or false. Controversy plagued Zenger’s trial from the beginning as William Cosby, the governor of New York, did everything he could to sabotage Zenger as Cosby was the centerpiece of most of Zenger’s editorials. Zenger was one of the first journalists to emphasize the importance of the media being the fourth estate and being a watchdog of the government.

Location

Small Ballroom, Curris Center

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

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Apr 20th, 10:00 AM Apr 20th, 11:30 AM

Truth was his defense: The libel trial of John Peter Zenger

Small Ballroom, Curris Center

John Peter Zenger spent nearly eight months in jail starting in 1734 but still printed The New York Weekly Journal with the help of his wife while he was on trial for seditious libel. In those days, libel was anything that was against the government. It didn’t matter if the information was true or false. Controversy plagued Zenger’s trial from the beginning as William Cosby, the governor of New York, did everything he could to sabotage Zenger as Cosby was the centerpiece of most of Zenger’s editorials. Zenger was one of the first journalists to emphasize the importance of the media being the fourth estate and being a watchdog of the government.

 

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