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The Freedom of the Press - Research Paper Example

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Freedom of the press implies non-interference from the state or the various organs of the state. Media house and companies may seek their freedom through legal means, which may be stated in the constitution. Governments may define which materials should not be disclosed to the public, based on how it classifies information. Some government information may be secret or sensitive; governments protect such information from exposure to the public. Cornwell (2004) states that “the universal declaration of human rights provides for freedom and rights of expression and opinion to every person” This freedom extends to the rights to air one’s opinions without interference. It also includes the right to impart information and ideas through any form of media, be it print or broadcast. However, there is legislation accompanying this viewpoint; this legislation ensures that media freedom is put under scrutiny. Government legislation may prohibit foreign media and journalists from covering issues happening within the country. For example, in times of revolutions and wars, the press may not be allowed to cover the events taking place. Thus, the public may not be aware of instability and brutality in their countries. Limiting the press freedom affects the public negatively, as people remain in the dark, without any knowledge of some crucial events taking place in their country (Hume, 2005). This paper will discuss the benefits that can be gained when the public supports the freedom of the press. Reasons why the public should support the freedom of the press The public should join hand with the media in fighting for the freedom of the press, because of the various benefits gained when the press is free. Firstly, a free press holds the government accountable for its actions. In cases where the public may not be able to scrutinize the activities of government agencies, the media come in and do so (Hume, 2005). Some governments may not be willing to be transparent, government officials may indulge in corruption and misappropriation of public funds. In such a case, a press that has freedom ensures that the public becomes aware of the way funds are being utilized. An independent media may initiate demonstrations and mass action, where citizens get the opportunity to protest against corrupt government officials. When the media lead citizens in protesting, governments may be forced to dismiss corrupt officials (Bollinger, 1991). As Cornwell (2004) notes, press freedom should get public support because a media that hold the government accountable can help in upholding the rule of law. This will create more stability in a country and make it more attractive to investors. International politics, commerce, and trade activities mainly depend on the media. ...Show more
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This essay “The Freedom of the Press” will focus on whether the public should support the freedom of the press. The freedom of the press entails the right to publish or to print information without any restrictions from the government…
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