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With freedom comes responsibility

We are lucky, I mean those who live in the UK. Maybe we are not blessed with the best weather, but at least we have the right to freedom of expression.

Although this is a human right, which has been accepted throughout the world, in reality it is still a relatively rare condition. Unfortunately the freedom of press in many countries in the world is limited. Therefore being a journalist can be a dangerous job.

According to RWB more than a third of the world's people live in countries where there is no press freedom.

The organisation Reporters Without Borders(RWB) states that in 2010, so far,  26 journalists have been killed and 155 are imprisoned worldwide, because of their journalistic activity. So, yes it is a real value that we can criticise the government without having to expect death threats the next day.

When it comes to freedom of expression the media plays a vital role. It represents the eyes, ears and the voice of the people. The media is nothing less than a crucial cornerstone of a healthy democracy.

The media is supposed to be critical, accurate and as objective as possible. It should investigate what is of public interest and importance. Basically it delivers information to the people. And the quality of this information is fundamental to the quality of a democracy.

So, taking a look at the media can tell us a lot about the state of our democracy.

UK's best selling newspaper with an average of 3 million copies a day

The UK is a country with a good ground for freedom of expression. The question is what are we doing with this.

I think the first the thing we need to realize is that with freedom comes responsibility. This responsibility does not only depend on news organisations and journalists. They wouldn’t be anything without us!

If nobody demands celebrity gossip then we wouldn’t get it. That simply wouldn’t be profitable, in a capitalistic world. We have the power.

That is what a democracy is all about, the power of the people. It is up to us to take this power back.

There is an alternative to treating ourselves just as victims of  circumstances. We can take responsibility and therefore act responsible and shape this society in a positive way.

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One response

  1. I still hear a lot of people complaining about the freedom of press in the UK.

    We still need that kind of pressure from the public to maintain high quality journalism and there is still room for massive improvement but for an area that’s so complex, I don’t think that we do too badly compared to many parts of the world!

    December 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm

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