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Freedom of Press as an Attribute of Democratic Society

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Media and the press play a big role in the society, as citizens depend on it to know what goes on in the country. Freedom of expression is the major element for a democratic society to function marvelously. Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States argue that “the only security of all is in a free press”. Author of the Declaration of Independence, the founding text of American democracy and one of the most important documents in the history of the world ( Editors 2014) , and one of the most important figures in the history of free press which publishes the opinions of citizens without government restriction by printing them. Freedom of press is the right given to everyone to speak about something that they feel was not justified. However we can see countries where the political regime says 'Democratic' when they do not give the chance to their citizens to express themselves. Many people want to be heard as they live in a democratic society where freedom of expression is accepted by society but there are barriers which unfortunately prevent them

The press is the bridge between the government and the citizen. They inform the population of the latest news and media is considered to be the fourth pillar of democracy. It is important that people get real information from the press, from real sources, because the media has a huge impact on public opinion thus in order to ensure that they have the right information, they even meet people who are concern to get true information. However, the press is not allowed to blackmail people, character assassination, or to indulge in any cheap sensationalize (Editorial Team 2020). The press has always helped people to stay in touch with the news regardless of the field. It has helped people to attend sports, business, governmental, academic and cultural activities even a thousand miles away, for example the 2018 football world cup hosted in France brought the whole world together in front of their TV and on social networks. Another recent example is Corona Virus who is affected the world people, through the press individual can know the number of people affected by the virus as journalist frequently publish update information and statistic. Howeever journalists can publish information that does not always please the government, like the Benalla case unveiled by Médiapart and which still annoys Emmanuel Macron a lot. This is freedom of the press (Axelbuisson)

Freedom of press have three essential role to play the freedom of circulation, publication and accessibility to all kind of information (Poulomi.S). But there are some country where freedom of expression is still an offense to the law. In China, North Korea or Iraq, one can be arrested, imprisoned or even executed for daring to say what one, if it is at odds with the ideas of the power. In the UK, journalists are subject to a large number of legal restrictions which make it difficult for them to express their point of view in their article, this mainly concerns anti-terrorist legislation, the law on contempt of court and other legal restrictions on judicial reports, the law on trust and the development of actions in the field of protection of privacy and data, intellectual property laws, legislation governing public order, intrusion, harassment, anti-discrimination and obscenity (Press Freedom). Victor krymzalov was found guilty and fined in Uzbekistan after slandering an article from and the publication was not signed (Arch.P 2013). According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, in Eritrea 28 journalists were imprisoned in late 2012 (Arch.P 2013). Often no charges are made public, although in some cases the crime plans to join other independent journalists who have fled the country (Arch.P 2013).

UNESCO made May 3 the international day of press freedom in order to remember the society that it is a human rights. Freedom of expression supports many other rights. It covers freedom of speech, of the press and gives people the opportunity to express themselves without the slightest fear of being punished by the authorities thus the media helps to exchange information for free in order for citizen to enrich their knowledge of what is going on around the world. The investigations carried out by the journalists carries very powerful interests because the public pay more attention to all the small details and that encourages less corruption and the violation of human rights (MLDI). In 2008 UNESCO concluded that 'all the results confirm the importance of press freedom for development', (Menelaos.A 2012). Freedom of expression is one of the most important values in the development of a democratic society this can be done through discussion forums, debates or only by expressing themselves on the information which they consider important and willing share it without any inconvenience and retaliation.

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The press Censorship are rules which is establish by the government for the restriction and the prohibitions concerning all type of expression which can harm the image of the different sectors of the government. In our modern society, new technology is also a subject of censorship and control, and modern totalitarian regimes have engaged in the massive suppression of freedom of expression in these media (Jurgen.W 2013). In a country like the United States, people have the right to speak openly without fear because this is not the case in other countries. People have the right to know what is happening in government sectors with the help of the press which acts as a watchdog. As soon as something happens in the country they are immediately informed by the press and with new technology all information is communicated to the public in a fraction of a second. However, today's journalists face many difficulties in society, for example their coverage is a risk, censorship or wrongdoing. The sources are not always the right one and the press is coming more and more important, but they are protected by several organizations such as the freedom of the press foundation or The American Civil Liberties which cited on their website 'When press freedom is achieved, it is much more difficult to hold our government accountable when it makes mistakes or crosses boundaries, ' (Kacey.F 2017).

The press is important for democracy because it pays attention to all the actions of the authority and requests reports. By informing the institution and society of what is going on in government activities through facts and statistic the press act as a watchdog. They alert the public when there are problems at the level of the government for example corruption, illegal activities or news that will cause a sensation for the public, for example the safes of former Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam whose residence in Riverland had been investigated after the discovery of two safes filled with many rs2000 bank notes. The audience was able to count on the press for information, in particular for the counting of the banknotes which was done on several days. Without their announcement, we would have known nothing. Journalists are watchdogs whenever they file a request under the Freedom of Information Act, whenever they verify the facts of a speech, whenever they ask a difficult question to be asked (Jackson.B 2017).

The press is seen as the guardian of citizens' rights. In democratic countries they have the right to express themselves freely whether it be written or verbal. this right is important for keeping the population informed and educating (K.K Ghai). By promoting press freedom, states and international organizations are acquiring a powerful tool for development (Yassine.I 2012)The free press is a tool for development at the same level as education or investment,the connection between the free press and different sector of the government is a powerful tool for the development of a country. the press not only gives the opportunity to speak to the public but there are many other factors which protect the population. Those factor are as follows;

  • through open discussion the truth is discovered - if people are prevented from speaking, it means that society also prevents from finding and publishing accurate details and reliable opinions (Tanu.P 2014).
  • Freedom of expression as an aspect of personal development and development - it is an essential element of human right for personal development and personal fulfillment. Not being allowed to speak, write and read hinders our personality and our growth. It helps an individual to flourish (Tanu.P 2014).
  • To express political beliefs and attitudes - freedom of expression helps to express one's beliefs and shows the political attitude that results in the benefit of society and government. It provides a mechanism by as2014).
  • For active participation in democracy- Freedom of expression strengthens an individual's ability to participate in decision-making and it is there to protect the right of all citizens to understand political issues so that they can participate in the proper functioning of democracy (Tanu.P 2014).

Free Press role, is to publish articles without restriction but behind this great work for a democratic society they must keep up with all the information, that is where the source comes from, the people involved, it must give appropriate accounts, relevant information need to e recorded. All press offices must keep a folder with all the activities they carried out, facts and liability. They must present and declare all activities carried out for the public interest. Several international organizations such as the internship freedom of expression or freedom house watch over the protection of the press because the press often accused of false information only to boost sales figures for the company. Many people think that the media go against professional standards and some of their actions require explanations from the press, obtain several information from several sources before protecting the news at the hearing and despite their precaution, and they are often accused of violating the professional code of ethics and it is for that he must always provide real facts and give and account to the reader.

To sum up, we can conclude that the freedom of the press is the most important characteristic in the democracy of today world. Thomas Jefferson stated that “When the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” (Yassine.I 2012). Freedom of expression is a fundamental right, The Bill of Rights, the first amendment to take effect on December 15, 1791, help for the protection of the freedom of the press. Being a journalist seem so simple but beside this there is huge work which is done and every journalism has accepted to put there life in danger to provide good information to the citizen. The government has no right to try to prevent the public from speaking out 0because according to the first amendment, this is clearly against the law.

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Freedom of Press as an Attribute of Democratic Society. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Freedom of Press as an Attribute of Democratic Society.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Freedom of Press as an Attribute of Democratic Society. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
Freedom of Press as an Attribute of Democratic Society [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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