Freedom Of The Press, Globalization, Public Diplomacy And Current Events.

2047 words - 8 pages

Absolute freedom of expression does not exist in our world. Citizens and their media are subject to some type of governmental control to an extent, while some countries have more strict limitations than others. Forms of expression that are more likely to be restricted are political and social expressions. National characteristics that will determine the nature of these restrictions are based on several types of concepts relating to political conditions and social values. These concepts include Authoritarian, Western, Communist, Revolutionary and Developmental.The Authoritarian concept holds that the government is always allowed to control the press. Any news reported on the government should make the government look good to the public. News that does have negative reports on the government will result in censorship, shutting down publications or jailing journalists. A key example of the Authoritarian system is the strict governmental control of the press in China. A major story in relation to press freedom would be the 1987 Tiananmen Square incident in Beijing. Many people gathered in the Square to remember the death of an overthrown former leader. The assembly grew into a student movement that called for freedom of the press and an end to government media control. The Chinese media was able to successfully report on this movement. Two months later, the government ordered an end to the movement, thus leading to the deaths of thousands of Chinese students who sought freedom of the press. The government justified its actions by saying the movement was a crime against the government that should be punished. Also, countries in the Arab world are typically under some Authoritarian control of the press.While some Arab countries have governmental control of the press, others might have some independence, yet media control still does exist. Press laws live in the Arab world that permit authorities to be in charge of licensees and dissemination of publications, allow officials to prosecute, detain or shut down journalist's newspapers. In 2002, the Algerian and Jordanian governments applied legislation to attack journalists who reported on government corruption, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In Egypt, Yemen and Morocco newspapers where closed down and journalists were prosecuted for disseminating news about the government. Also, in Jordan the government forced news blackouts on "explosive political developments."The Western concept of free press is a watchdog effect. This means that the press is free to report on corrupt government actions. The government cannot interfere in gathering or spreading news. The media must live separate from the government, some are even privately owned. There must be a "marketplace of ideas" for the public to choose from and there must be access to "personalized media." A problem with the Western system, however, is that most goals of various media are different. Public service might be the goal at one...

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