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Freedom of Media - Essay Example
BACKGROUND: The Human Rights Act means all public authorities must ensure that everything they do is compatible with the Convention Rights unless an Act of Parliament makes that impossible. The 1950 Convention, which followed the earlier Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, seeks to give all citizens in Europe certain essential rights and fundamental freedoms…
And the Act gives people a clear legal statement of their basic rights and fundamental freedoms. The key principle of the Act is that wherever possible there should be compatibility with the Convention rights.
SECTION 10 CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT 1981: The section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 has given some formal recognition to the media's watchdog role, in relation to the protection of journalists sources. It says:
"No court may require a person to disclose, nor is a person guilty of contempt of court for refusing to disclose the source of information contained in the publication for which he is responsible; unless it be established to the satisfaction of the court that disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime".
This section covers any speech, writing, broadcast or other communication made or addressed to the public. Although journalists take advantage of this section mostly, it is not confined to journalists only. It offers protection for the disclosure of any material, or information directly or indirectly disclosing, or likely to facilitate the disclosure of source's identity. ...