The Return of John Peter Zenger

The Internet Archive is offering a freely downloadable digital video of the 1953 Westinghouse Studio One television production,  The Trial Of John Peter Zenger.

The video had been removed from the archive some time ago, but is back, presumably because any copyright claims on the program have been resolved. It certainly would be ironic if a film of America’s first landmark freedom-of-speech trial ran into difficulties with modern media law!

Astute media historians will note that Anna Zenger, who kept the newspaper going while her husband was in jail, is played by Marian Seldes, niece of legendary journalist George Seldes. She also appears as a narrator in the documentary film about Seldes life, Tell the Truth and Run.

The Zenger trial also was dramatized by the radio series You Are There, which is also available at

(I’ve attempted to embed a video player for the Studio One episode here using Vodpod, but so far it isn’t showing up. I’ll leave the link for debugging purposes.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Internet Archive: Free Download: Stud…“, posted with vodpod

mild-mannered reporter who fell deeper into computers and the Web during three trips through graduate school in the 1980s and 1990s, then began teaching journalism, media studies and Web production, most recently as a faculty member at Radford University.

Posted in Free Speech, History, Journalism, Television

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