During the early years of the Penny Press, the concept of freedom of the press faced grave threats from government and citizens as journalism became more commercial and accessible. Horace Greeley, founder of the New-Yorker and the New-York Tribune and one of the most influential publishers of this era, stood up to these challenges in the 1830s and 1840s through numerous libel lawsuits, battles with the postmaster, and threats of physical violence from the public and political rivals. Greeley used his platform as a publisher and editor to link these dangers to press freedom as threats to American freedom and democracy that limited the ability of the press to serve as a watchdog and agent of social reform. This study, which examines Greeley's thoughts and actions when dealing with government and social constraints on publication in the pre-Civil War era, details Greeley's role in shaping modern understanding of press freedom in the formative years of the Penny Press.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daxton_stewart/12/