The necessity — and danger — of free speech

Sean Illing talks with Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan about his new book The Paradox of Democracy, which he co-authored with media studies professor Zac Gershberg. Sean and Margaret discuss the relationship between free expression and democratic society, talk about whether or not the January 6th hearings are doing anything at all politically, and discuss some potential ways to bolster democratic values in the media ecology of the present. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview), media columnist, Washington Post References:  The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (Chicago; 2022) Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy by Margaret Sullivan (Columbia Global Reports; 2020) "Four reasons the Jan. 6 hearings have conquered the news cycle" by Margaret Sullivan (Washington Post; July 22) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman (1985) Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life by Margaret Sullivan (St. Martin's; Oct. 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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