Fidelity bank card banner Camano banner

Importance of press freedom in a democracy

By David Childs on 04/05/2019

Views: 796


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Introduction

From the dawn of the United States of America with the creation of the three branches of the government, journalists and news reporters have played the role of informing the people and holding political leaders accountable. The First Amendment that offers “freedom of speech and of the press” has been the aspect of the American constitution that has long empowered journalist to speak the truth, even if they are under duress and in harm’s way. Since the inception of the United States there has been conflict and tension between the press and governmental officials. In this way, Patrick D’Arcy (Editorial Manager of the TED Fellows program) states that “US history has been marked by an ongoing conflict between the government’s attempts to strengthen and protect itself and the press’s attempts to scrutinize and report on the government.” Part of the United State’s success as a democracy is owed to the country having a free press. D’Arcy also points out that “some of the most important voices before and during the American Revolution were anonymous pamphleteers who were writing under pseudonyms, talking about the crimes of the British government… speeches, pamphlets and newspapers” during the revolution “were critical in informing and galvanizing public support for the revolt.”

Why Freedom of the Press is More Important Now Than Ever

Attacks on Journalists and the Press

The past few decades have seen ever growing attacks on US journalists and members of the press. These attacks are seemingly coming to a crescendo under the Trump administration. Information from the press has been consistently characterized as unreliable sources of information. However, this trend and growing disdain for journalist and the news media is not just relegated to the US, but has a world-wide phenomenon. Freedom House -A US-based non-profit independent watchdog group that has monitored attacks on freedom and democracy around the world for over three quarters of a century, stated that when freedom of the press is threatened it is “a threat to democracies.”

Attacks on the Records: The State of Global Press Freedom, 2017-2018

Because of much of the rhetoric hurled at the news media and the daily social media discourse disparaging journalists, there seems to be a growing public distrust of the news media and journalism. The term “fake news” has become a phrase that is used to discredit the validity of information coming from journalists and news outlets such as CNN, NPR, the Washington Post, The BBC News and the New York Times. Jim Rutenberg stated in an October 2018 New York Times article, that the term “fake news,” was coined by the Trump administration and casts all journalists (Accept those that agree with him) as the “enemy of the people.” This was a “negative branding campaign” that was aimed “against those who would hold him accountable” for his actions as the President of the United States. With many journalists and reporters being constantly under attack it is important to examine the critical role that the press plays in a democracy. The importance of the press and journalists in a democracy to keep the public informed and hold government officials accountable cannot be overstated.

The attacks on the news media has weakened the public’s faith in the press as a valid source of information. Rutenberg stated “By one measure, a CBS News poll over the summer, 91 percent of strong Trump supporters trust him to provide accurate information; 11 percent said the same about the news media.” This conversation becomes much more important and sinister when we are reminded that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi –who wrote a column regularly for the Washington Post, was killed by his government for being outspoken against the Saudi government. Read Jamal Khashoggi’s columns for The Washington Post

The Saudis then tried to cover it up and President Trump was very reluctant to condemn their government until he was backed into a corner when presented with overwhelming evidence.

Maybe He Did, Maybe He Didn’t’: Trump Defends Saudis, Downplays U.S. Intel

Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Lawyer and free press advocate Trevor Timm states that “an independent press is one of the essential pillars of a democracy.” He also goes on to say that the First Amendment and its protection of the press “has always been the bulwark against secret government, against authoritarianism and against tyranny. The concept of a free press was intentionally and deliberately written into the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to preserve freedom of the people. The amendment was of grave importance in the eighteenth century during its inception, and is just as important now. The press is often thought of as a “fourth branch of government” because it also helps balance power in the government. Without that fourth branch the concept of a democratic system of government starts to weaken and after a while the democracy would crumble. We have examined the key role the press can play in a democracy. (Democracyandme)

 

Source News Express

Posted 04/05/2019 05:10:36 AM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Nigeria’s First Lady POISONED, flown abroad for treatment...

Police gun down three suspected kidnappers in Rivers,...

No President has touched the life of the...

Alibaba buys Hong Kong daily newspaper

Abia North Senatorial Rerun: Elections in Bende, a...

Ojo Maduekwe emerges PDP BoT Secretary, Senator Jibril...

Has Buhari died and been replaced by a...

Power sector risks collapse over N1.1trn debt burden...

Onaiyekan seeks divine intervention in Benue killings

Budget Scandal: Jibrin files fresh suit against Reps,...

Osun commissions N750 million High School named after...

Music star Omawumi finally marries heartthrob

 

Latest News Why we attacked Ike Ekweremadu in Germany — IPOB 63 reported dead, 182 wounded as bomb explodes at wedding Beating of Ekweremadu and the stones awaiting others, By Fredrick Nwabufo SERAP backs EFCC’s probe of Obasanjo govt’s $16bn power project Imo Guber: Apprehension in Ihedioha’s Camp Attack on Ekweremadu in Germany an embarrassment to Nigeria, says Dabiri-Erewa Many killed in fresh communal clash in Benue Bayelsa guber: Dickson sets up campaign committee to pick PDP candidate Trump to drop out of 2020 race within months — Former aide Alleged N3b scam: Oyo-Ita weighs options, seeks soft landing Taraba killing and the need to end Police-Army rivalry Insecurity: FG considers closing borders

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (527,578 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (438,055 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (382,792 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (321,724 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (289,744 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (250,875 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (245,450 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (232,065 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (227,516 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (213,773 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (192,728 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (190,660 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (98) Business & Economy (4,392) Business Verdict (78) Columnists (1,093) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (214) Entertainment (647) Features (795) Global Business Monitor (417) ICT Monitor (58) International (3,839) Interview (198) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (166) Maggie's Blog (379) News (50,094) Opinion (1,323) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,310) Religion (1,085) Sports (2,133) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera