Stephens said the purpose of newspapers "changed to the political and polemical after 1765...
Daily publication began in the 1780s, just as the new American republic emerged. There were about 100 newspapers by 1790, many of them were spirited, and some were great annoyances to men in high positions. It was a time of enormous press freedom, a freedom exercised frequently in behalf of the Federalist or Republican parties, which subsidized their own publications. Humphrey said, "Many newspapers in the 1790s were intended to accept a particular political party." Two examples are the Gazette of the United States for the Hamiltonian Federalists; the National Gazette for the Jeffersonian Republicans. "Their editors believed that they should support their particular party in all that they did," she noted, "so they wrote essays in support of their party and included editorial comments in the news pieces that either supported their party or attacked the opposition."
Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." Samuel Adams said in 1768 that "there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants . . . as a free press."
Source: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
IMO, the most important thing to realize is that when you are expressing concern about other people being duped or driven by information you believe to be biased or incorrect, you are de facto taking a paternalistic stance in relationship to other adults, and thereby acting in a manner in alignment with a preference to deprive "the poor fools" of their liberty. If your primary concern is that you will be duped or driven into behavior not in alignment with your self-interest by a piece of inaccurate or biased news, then you are de facto declaring yourself to be an infant incapable of making your own judgments and decisions without some "Daddy" (Walter Cronkite? Edward R. Murrow?) you can ultimately trust and rely upon. People blatantly lie? Attempt to convince others in alignment with their own self-interest? Take arguments into the realm beyond the rational in a moment of passion? Are sometimes too lazy to fact check? Santa Claus won't stuff my stocking no matter how good I was this year? Really?????
My 10th grade U.S. History teacher was a total old school hard-azz. 10th grade U.S. History is one of the classes all American kids are required to take at public schools so that they can theoretically become better citizens. So, when the barely functionally literate got-stoned-last-night kid who sat next to me fell asleep in class, our teacher would take a yard-stick and slam it on his desk to wake him up. When anybody complained, he would say "Life isn't fair, but it is equitable." Last week I was so fed up with a group of 6th graders whining and blame-shifting, as I was attempting to teach, I told them "I do not want to hear one more sentence that begins with "He, she or they. Next time you raise your hand, you better begin your sentence with the word 'I'" Hey kids, it's the age of the internet!!! Barrier to entry into the field of publication- ZERO!!! You don't like what the news sources are saying, then go out there and do your own investigation, come to your own conclusions, and speak your own piece.
End pickle barrel speech by grouchy old lady.