WHY IS THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IMPORTANT Essay - 1333 Words

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WHY IS THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IMPORTANT

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Text Preview WHY IS THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IMPORTANT? GIVING TWO CROSS-CULTURAL EXAMPLES CRITICALLY ANALYZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS TO A DEMOCRATIC NATION. The media are referred to as the ‘watchdogs of society.’ They are also called the ‘Fourth Estate’ after the three arms of democratic government. These descriptions tend to speak of a very important arm of our society. Therefore freedom of the press can be seen as very important even vital so any tampering with this freedom should be discouraged with the utmost vigour. Let us now look at why press freedom is important and some examples of this. ‘Press’ refers to all the media of mass communication. Free press is defined as The right to publish, a right to confidentiality of sources, and a right to access without interference (by Mark Stevens LtCol USMC (Ret.) 2003, faculty.ncwc.edu/mstevens). According to dictionary.com it is “...the right to publish newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter without governmental restriction and subject only to the laws of libel, obscenity, sedition, etc.” The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, to publish and distribute information in books, magazines, and newspapers without government intervention (Webster's New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010). In the American First Amendment the right of a free press is stated along with free speech, freedom to assemble and freedom to petition. Collectively these can be termed as freedom of expression. They are the basis for other fundamental rights like the right to vote. In the Declaration of Human Rights put forth by the United Nations, article 19 states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)... Show More

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