Why is Freedom of the Press Important?


Why is Freedom of the Press Important?

Freedom of the press establishes that expression and communication through published media, such as print and video, is a right. Freedom of the press is codified in multiple documents that set international standards. A government should not interfere with this freedom or censor media that criticize state power. For years, freedom of the press has been an essential part of democracy.

In a democracy, the people have the right to choose their government directly or through the choice of representatives.

Why is freedom of the press so important for democracy to flourish?

What are the threats to this freedom?


Why is it Important?

The press provides the platform to hear a variety of voices. Nationally, regionally and locally, he is a custodian, activist and guardian of the public, as well as an educator, entertainer and contemporary chronicler. Freedom of the press is an essential pillar of any democracy. As the eyes and ears of the public, journalists must be able to report on matters of public concern without fear of arrest or other forms of interference.


Current threats

The battle between politicians and the press in the aftermath of the Leveson inquiry has subsided but has not disappeared. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 is designed to punish newspapers in libel and privacy cases, even if they win, if they refused to adhere to state-backed regulation, a mixture of medieval prerogatives and political control.

No significant publications have chosen to undergo this regime.

Instead, most of the industry (national, regional and magazines) have joined a new and stringent self-regulatory system under the Independent Press Standards Organization which went live in September 2014. The government is engaged in the repeal of section 40 on the first appropriate opportunity.

Other threats to press freedom include proposals for an online damage regime, unless the websites and the content of the news publishers are exempt, the proposals of the legal commission for the most rigid criminal laws against government losses, the effort to dilute the legislation of the freedom of information on which NMA has made a successful campaign, new restrictions on judicial relations and the use of state surveillance powers to discover the sources of journalists.

Journalists in the UK are already subject to a wide range of legal restrictions. These include defamation laws, official secrets and anti-terrorism legislation, contempt law and other legal restrictions on judicial relationships, trust law and development of privacy and data protection actions, intellectual property laws, legislation regulating public order, trespassing, harassment, anti-discrimination and obscenity.

There is a special provision for journalism and other literary and artistic activities, primarily intended as protection against preventive restrictions, in data protection and human rights legislation.

There are some additional legal protections that require court orders or court consent before police can access news materials or state agencies can instigate surveillance under certain circumstances, but in practice the law provides limited protections for material sources and journalism.


What action do we want to Experience?

The NMA fights to safeguard freedom of the press and promote free speech, open government, and open justice. Withstands any special checks on the press. It continues to advocate independent self-regulation of the press against any form of state-backed regulation.

The industry remains in total opposition to the Royal Charter and the legislation that underpins it. The forthcoming media law offers the ideal opportunity to finally get rid of this harmful threat to press freedom, delivering on the government's manifesto promise.


Truth, Accountability and Informed Voting: Why Press Freedom is Important

Why is Freedom of the Press Important?

A good democracy has guiding principles such as citizen governance, free and fair elections, protection of individual rights and cooperation. To ensure that these principles become reality, a free press is essential.

There are Three main Reasons Why Freedom of the Press is Important:

Independent Journalists Fight for the Truth

Freedom of the press is important because free journalists reveal the truth. There are many issues - often complex - that journalists are trained to investigate and explain. Without newspapers, radio shows, blogs, etc., everyone would have little or no knowledge of what is going on around them.

Many people do not have the time and resources to research the issues and news that affect them and their community. That's where journalists come in. With skills like research and critical thinking, the best journalists know what questions to ask, what leads to pursue, and how to investigate the facts. Fact checking is an important part of free advertising. If journalists can't find the truth safely and effectively, the truth remains buried.

A free Press holds power accountable

Many companies can benefit from the fact that the truth is still hidden, including the government. One of the main functions of free media is to be the guardian of power. Media is a bridge between people and powerful companies. If the media is not independent, but is seen to be working, it serves only as an extension of that power. Without freedom of the press, journalists who try to tell the truth when threatened by the state do not protect the law. This research and deletion is inevitable. Even if the state has set itself the goal of being more honest and transparent, there is still a plan to go. In the case of corruption and human rights violations, a free media is important to expose the abuse of power.


A Free Press Informs Voters and Strengthens Democracy

Fair elections are the third reason why freedom of the press is important. Democracy thrives only when voters are as informed as possible. Publicity makes people understand what is at hand and which policies and politician’s best represent them.

The media is a sector that provides information through information analysis, encouraging discussion and fact-checking. The more independent the press, the more informed voters can be. Without this freedom, voters will be at the mercy of politicians and special interests who want to win elections and promote certain laws. It will be very hard and take time for the voters to do all their work for themselves. Media is hard to make the system complex and offer precious information.


How the Freedom of the Press is at Risk

Journalists are threatened all over the world. Some places are worse than others, but even in a democracy, media freedom can face many challenges. Organizations such as Reporters without Borders monitor the number of journalists who are persecuted, imprisoned or killed. This information gives the world an idea of ​​the extent of the problem. There are many threats to independent journalists, including:


Legal Threats

Legal threats such as defamation and privacy lawsuits, threats of sources, and warrants for classified information take money and resources away from sources of information, delay or block reports and make people afraid to tell news reporters.


Government Threats

Government officials can make a journalist's job more difficult and even dangerous. Actions include threatening to revoke licenses, using offensive language against journalists, and stalking or even arresting journalists. This abuse of power creates distrust among journalists, makes them targets of violence and reduces the media's ability to provide important information.


Harassment and Physical Violence

Being a journalist can be a very stressful job. Harassment is particularly common for female journalists. Harassment, threats, doxing and trolling all serve to intimidate and discourage journalists. Harassment can escalate into violence and include assaults, bomb threats, stolen property and murder.


Protect the Freedom of the Press

What helps ensure independent and successful media? The law that protects journalists and freedom of the press is one of the most important measures. "Shield laws," which are laws that give journalists full or qualified freedom to refuse to reveal their sources, exist in many places. The shield law protects both the reporter and his source.

In the United States, there is no federal shield law; so many advocates are working for it. At the individual level, citizens can help protect media freedom by being aware of threats to freedom and efforts to support free media. Sponsoring a local newspaper is another way to stay informed and ensure that the topics most important to your daily life are covered.

In terms of democracy, the freedom of the press is a right that every institution in the society must take care of and take forward to protect it.

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