Week 31 : How Important is Freedom of the Press to a Healthy Society?

We’ve all heard #FakeNews, had enough of all the gossip columns and made our mind up about what constitutes news and rubbish. With the internet we are now able to tailor what news filters through to us on a daily basis but is the freedom to report that news and report it unbiasedly important?

Its one of the fundamentals of a healthy society if you think about it.

For a start the “Press” in general is a bit of a echo chamber, you’ll read the things that align more with how you feel about things. If a writer doesn’t correlate with your feelings you won’t read or take their information seriously anymore. Whilst fakes might still be reported they will be slanted to the outcome that you want to hear talked about. It’s a bit of a glass half full thing.

Just because you disagree with someone who then takes the same facts and reports it in a different way, and I don’t mean lying about what the facts say just slants the vibe to their own personal opinion, doesn’t mean it is any less worthy.

Is it dangerous to let outlets post anything they want?

Of course, you’d hope they would have the obvious sense not to try and panic people or spread rumors and falsities that could harm others. They don’t in this day and age because controversy and drama sell, reporting a story before the facts will get more eyes on that report and they believe they can just apologize later and forget what they’ve posted.

They have to have the right to at least to a point be free to report these things though.

Take away the fact that a lot of journalists are out for clicks and money right now and just think about what losing their freedom would mean.

You read what you read because you enjoy the writing of the piece and will connect with it as I said earlier. What if the current government DOESN’T agree? When the president then decides that only the news outlets that slant things the way he wants it slanted are allowed to report then whilst you might stop reading the news you’ll also become uninformed and facts will be covered up that shouldn’t be covered up and others who might not be sure will only have these facts and their slanted view to go on.

You might then inform that person of the other side of the story but what you are then doing is using freedom of speech to relay the message the president doesn’t want relayed.

What then stops him from banning the innocent person on the street from spreading #FakeNews and…

Well if you don’t get where I’m going this is what the Nazi’s did. They only allowed Nazi approved propaganda out there, news outlets had to be the sounding board of the party and anyone who disagreed suddenly found themselves gone.

“But we’re clever now, we know this happens, it can’t happen in modern times…”

That is where you are wrong.

It starts off pointing to something like a celeb being named as a sex pest and being found completely innocent and them being then backed by a president and used as a example of #FakeNews ruining people’s lives. Whilst they have a point its a step towards the powers that be then starting to control what is said.

“To stop this happening again we need laws on what papers can and can’t print…”

The small print will be that some suit taking orders from the president will be breathing down the neck of the major news outlets whilst smaller ones are policed and disbanded, possibly with fake reasons, till all the news is slanted in one direction.

“I’ve made this rule so that its fair, they still have freedom to write what they want…”

But over the days and the weeks, months and years they slowly edge towards whatever they are told to be. Some people won’t even notice, others will just walk away and those who stand up for it will be shot down as defenders of #FakeNews that agree that ruining poor Celeb A’s life was worth it.

You don’t have to like what they print and they should be held to a high standard, we should complain and people who genuinely have been slandered deserve to be compensated. Whilst there should be more morality in what people write and there needs to be accountability and you can’t hide behind freedom of speech to write hateful things for the sake of it we can’t really stop freedom of the press and expect society to be healthy.

Or something like that.

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