Freedom of Speech and Press in the 21st Century?

The ability to access and pass information to other people without being limited by government policies and forces constitute the fundamental elements of freedom of speech and press. It refers to the liberty given to people in speaking openly as a way to express their opinions, knowledge, and share information with other members of the society. This freedom has not been a guarantee in the past and varied from one country to the other. Through media activism and development of policies in individual countries’ constitutions, the world has gradually experienced tremendous increase in the freedom of speech and press. The First Amendment in the US Constitution, for instance, is what has guaranteed this right by giving people the liberty to speak openly without the fear of government restraint. Technological advancements have further given people more freedom of expressions in the modern society. In fact, the internet has brought a paradigm shift from traditional forms of information transfer such as newspapers, radio, and television. This has raised a lot of concern among various institutions such as government and media policy makers about the extreme levels in the freedom of expression today. The question that most analysts and governments are asking is whether there is too much freedom of speech and press in the 21st Century.

Media is considered as the most powerful tool in the modern society. It allows people to effectively access and efficiently share knowledge and information. This is what has given it the power to convert day into night and night into day, make a hero from a villain or hero into a villain. This is the power that has allowed it to revolutionize the world in the 21st century. Geographical barriers have virtually been erased and the world transformed into a mere global village, especially following the invention of the internet (Trager & Donna 17). Diverse socio-economic and political barriers have equally been removed through the impact of media in the modern world. Economic growth, political stability,. and social integration of any society or country is largely dependent on the freedom it has given its people to freely express themselves. This incorporates being allowed to think, say, and write anything or act without any pressures or restrictions. Democracy and freedom of expression are the two elements that can be considered to share the same essence. While democracy is considered as governing people by the people for the people, media freedom is the voice of the people. Education to the masses through media has eliminated their ignorance and ensured that enlightenment as well as awareness is created among them (Trager & Donna 19).

Despite these numerous benefits associated with the freedom of speech and press, too much of the freedom has occasionally been misused. The internet in particular has regularly been pointed out as the main form of media through which the freedom of expression is constantly abused. The web has opened up all the other forms of media. It has allowed anyone with access to it from anywhere at any time to freely express themselves. This has empowered even those who were previously considered voiceless and powerless by giving them an opportunity and platform to express their thoughts and ideas (Trager & Donna 28). However, misuse comes in when some individuals fail to use this platform for the benefits of the rest of the society in general. This includes sharing materials on the web that are considered illegal or contravene social norms. Others send information that is meant to insult or abuse their counterparts, create social and political division or negative incitement, and threaten social and national security among spreading other vices. While such cases are rare in the traditional forms of media due to professional code of ethics observed by journalists, there are limited regulations on who can access or share information via the internet. Even the most powerful governments across the world such as the US have had limited control to press freedom on the internet where materials such as Wikileaks have caused mixed reactions and raised a number of concerns.

These issues are very important in relation to the development of media policy. The benefits associated with media provide policy makers with solid reasons for why they should ensure their policies allow media freedom to be exercised by everyone. These policies must not limit people or restrict them from thinking, writing, speaking, and acting towards expressing issues that positively impact the society (Trager & Donna 56). Fundamental considerations in the development of media policy should revolve around ensuring that the media are used to create awareness, enlighten the people, and eliminate ignorance among the masses. These are the major aspects through which the media revolutionize the world for the benefits of the society. On the other hand, misuse of the media in the name of freedom of expression is an important issue that media policy makers must focus on. Despite the policies allowing people to freely express themselves through thinking, writing, speaking and acting, there should be some levels of regulations or code of conduct. This would ensure that media freedom is not abused through insulting others, threatening social and national wellbeing and security, as well as spreading other vices.

Too much freedom of expression in the 21st century, especially with the introduction of the internet, is what has allowed some people to misuse it. Media policies must regulate the kind of information that can be accessed or shared through the internet to ensure that media freedom does not conflict with other sections of the constitution or deny others their rights.

Work Cited

Trager, Robert, and Donna L. Dickerson. Freedom of Expression in the 21st Century. SAGE         Publications, 1999.

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This assignment gives you experience in doing elementary research on a contemporary issue in media law and policy. Because media policymaking is a field which changes rapidly, you cannot rely only on traditional library research. Legal research requires the use of primary sources, that is, actual statutes, regulations, legislative histories, and court cases. You may be more familiar with secondary sources—perspectives of other authors and researchers who have used primary sources to write books, articles, and journals.

Choose one of the topics listed below (or your own topic if approved) and summarize where things stand as of Summer 2017. Use printed materials, FindLaw, Congress.gov, or other websites to locate sources. (See links below.) Summarize the issues, discuss their importance to media policy, and provide some perspective. Cite your sources and include a bibliography.

1. Network Neutrality: Maintaining a Free and Open Internet or More Unnecessary Government Regulation?

2. Electronic Coverage of the Courts: Participation or Spectacle?

3. Is There Too Much Freedom of Speech and Press in the 21st Century?

4. Copyright in the Digital Age: Protecting Interests of Creators and Users

5. Privacy in the 21st Century: Outmoded Concept or Needed More Now Than Ever?

6. Your choice (proposed topic must be approved by instructor)

1. Present the body of your paper in traditional narrative form; the text of this paper is to be 750-1000 words (3-4 pages, not including footnotes/endnotes or bibliography). As described above, summarize the issues, discuss their importance to media policy, and provide some perspective. Remember, stringing together sections from a statute, court case, or website does not qualify as summarizing an issue.

2. Include citations to the sources you examined to prepare your project. You may use traditional footnotes (notes at the bottom of each page) or end notes (notes at the end of the paper). Include case names and/or popular names of statutes. Do not use APA or MLA style (in-text citations). You must use and cite primary sources to receive a passing grade on this project. Here is a guide to Basic Legal Citation.

3. Do not cite “Internet” as a source. This is equivalent to using a book, then citing the source as “Library.” When you use a website, cite the actual cases, statutes, rules, etc., NOT just the URL.

4. The following are not acceptable sources and should not be cited. Use these materials as guides to other sources:

Lectures or textbooks from this or any other Ball State class
Wikipedia
Encyclopedias, Almanacs, or Facts on File (print or online)
Personal Interviews (must be approved by instructor)
Finding Acceptable Sources

Again, you must do the topic for For “Is There Too Much Freedom of Speech and Press in the 21st Century?” I already choose is there too much freedom of speech and press in the 21st century. Again, I am a another courtry’s person,

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Due: 21 July 2017

Please answer essay questions detailed below.

Essays should be fully five pages in length.

Please use standard formatting (i.e., one inch margins, 11 or 12 point font), and cite all relevant sources using a common style guide (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

Note that plagiarism will not be tolerated.

You will need to submit the essay via the Turnitin link on the course Ted page; no hard copy is required.

The essay is due no later than 11:00am, Friday, 21 July.

Late papers will be penalized 1 of a letter grade for each day it is late. 3

 

 

Essay Prompts

  • Explain five core concepts of the East Asian tradition of political thought and action (sources: lectures, Yao).
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