What effect is digital technology having on efforts to defend and improve press and broadcasting freedom worldwide?
“Often interpreted as the freedom of the media to say what they like, news agencies often state this when defending some unscrupulous story they have scraped together. But what it really means is the freedom of the press to hold institutions such as the executive and legislators to account. When a government seeks to take power away from their people, the free media is the first casualty. It is one of the demos’ most powerful shields against corruption.”
“The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859)
“I have always believed Journalists report the news in a fair, accurate and impartial manor, stopping at nothing to provide the truth for the masses. But in a digital age when the press is given restrictions, limitations and boundaries as to what they can report, a true account of the news is comprimised, and the audiences ‘right to know’ is sacrificed. Worse still when the restictions placed on journalists are for political or economic gain. In fact Thomas Jefferson once said: ‘Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.'”