39 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 16, 2010
Free speech is the cornerstone of a free society as it is an inherent, inalienable right of the citizens of a democratic country. It is a basic human right enjoyed by all such citizens, regardless of cultural, religious, ethnic, political formation or other backgrounds and is the foundation over which other basic human rights are built. Often regarded as an integral concept in a democratic set up, without free speech no justice is possible and no resistance to injustice and oppression is possible. Thus freedom of speech is significant at all levels in society. It is also equally important to governments because when criticisms of a government are freely voiced, the government has an opportunity to respond to the grievances of the citizens. On the other hand, when freedom of speech is restricted, rumours, unfair criticisms, comments and downright falsehoods are circulated through private conversations and surreptitiously circulated writings. In that context, the government is in no position to counter such views, because they are not publicly stated. It is in the government's interest to allow criticisms in the public arena where it can answer its critics and correct its mistakes if any. Now, due to the surge of Information Technology, the governments have wider and faster access to electronic media far in excess of past communication channels.
Keywords: Media, Human Rights, Law, Protection
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