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Power

Journalism is pretty powerful stuff. You have the power to raise awareness and be a voice for the oppressed. Or you can talk about the Biebs. Totally up to you.

In truth, entire nations have been formed by the power of journalism. You may have heard of one—it's this little country called the United States of America.

Benjamin Harris edited the first newspaper published in the Americas, called Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick and intended to be published monthly. Only one issue was released, though, as he was ordered to shut it down by the British government.

That was way back in 1690. Between then and the American Revolution, the power of the press asserted itself for the first time in this budding nation. As the 18th century went on, more and more people published newspapers and pamphlets that criticized the British government and their stranglehold on the American colonies. 

These newspapers helped foment public outrage and fueled the call for a new government—sort of like when the musician on stage asks if you're all having a good time (yeah!).

After the Revolutionary War, political figures like future president Thomas Jefferson wanted to make sure Americans never lost their right to free speech and quality journalism. Jefferson wrote in a letter: "If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the latter."

Sources can't confirm whether he followed this up by tossing his quill and saying "boomtown," but we like to think that's the case.

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