More important than every citizen in a country having a voice, is every citizen having an educated voice.
The media is the most significant link between information and the electorate and the public at large. If the media were subjected to any control or restrictions, they would be limited in the information provided to the public.
Abraham Lincoln famously described the United States as a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” It is this model that makes a free press necessary. It is those things that a government would want untold that are most necessary to find the headlines and anchor desks of America.
The responsibility of the consumer is to recognize what influences shape the news as they are presented. Two overt examples of this are Fox News and MSNBC. Both outlets are free to report the truth. Fox News is known for skewing stories to the right whereas MSNBC is known for skewing stories to the left. The consumer must realize that even if the government doesn’t restrict the press, the press itself may restrict itself through allegiances that blur its reporting.
During the 2012 Presidential campaigns, Fox News has been much more critical of non-Republicans whereas MSNBC has been more supportive of Democrats. As with most information: always consider the source.