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The Freedom of the Press. Charmaine Evens and Guinah Houssein. What is the media? A brief history of the media Is the media free? Media in today’s world The BBC and other UK media Can it be argued that the media have too much freedom/power? Media Democracy. What is “media”? (1).

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the freedom of the press

The Freedom of the Press

Charmaine Evens

and Guinah Houssein

slide2

What is the media?

  • A brief history of the media
  • Is the media free?
  • Media in today’s world
  • The BBC and other UK media
  • Can it be argued that the media have too much freedom/power?
  • Media Democracy
what is media 1
What is “media”? (1)

Some definitions:

  • Media: An instrument for storing or communication of information

Or:

  • An intervening substance through which signals can travel as a means for communication
what is media 2
What is “media”? (2)
  • The media is a form of communication that comprises of three ways in which information or data can be delivered:
    • The broadcast media which is the television and radio
    • The printed media which the newspapers, magazines and publishing generally
    • The so-called “new media” which is cable, satellite, the internet and so on
a brief history of the press and the freedom of speech 1
a brief history of the press and the freedom of speech (1)
  • In 1215 the Magna Carta signed also known as the Charter of Freedoms
  • In 1516 the book “The Education of a Christian Prince” was published
  • In 1644 John Milton’s “Areopagitica” published
  • 1770, a letter written by Voltaire writes, “I detest what you write but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write”
a brief history of the press and the freedom of speech 2
a brief history of the press and the freedom of speech (2)
  • In 1859, John Stuart Mill’s, “On Liberty” published as is Darwin’s controversial “On the Origin of Species”
  • 1918-1945 saw two world wars and a rapid rise in the use of media
  • In 1960, Penguin wins the right to publish “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”
  • In 1963 the Profumo affair scandal
  • In 1997 the death of Princess Diana
  • In 2002 a Nigerian journalist writes about the prophet Mohammed leading to riots and 200 people dead
  • In 2004 a Dutch film maker is killed for releasing a film about the violence against women in Islamic societies
is the media free in today s world 1
Is the media free in today’s world? (1)
  • “I fear the newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets” (Napoleon Bonaparte)
  • “When communication systems are subject to formal political control as in states socialist, fascist or authoritarian regimes – the media becomes little more than a propaganda machine” (Heywood, A, Key Concepts in Politics p211)
is the media free in today s world 2
Is the media free in today’s world? (2)
  • “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
slide9

Rank Country Mark

Reporters without borders: http://www.rsf.org/en-classement1003-2009.html

the bbc
The BBC
  • The BBC is the only broadcasting company in the UK publicly owned
  • The BBC is controlled by a committee which is appointed by the home secretary
  • This board of governors also appoints a Director General who has day to day control of the BBC
  • In 2003, the Iraq Dossier and David Kelly brought fresh allegations of government control of the BBC
  • The Question Time appearance of Nick Griffin
does the media have too much power
Does the media have too much power?
  • It can be argued that the media exerts too much control over the direction of the political agenda to suit the interest of the unelected bodies that control them i.e. Murdoch
  • They drive agendas i.e. climate change has become trendy, the chief of Social Services in Haringey was sacked by the home secretary over Baby P, and the growing popularity in the media of David Cameron and his “fashionable” wife
  • It could be argued it is the press that the public look onto as their representative holding the government to account not the members of Parliament
media democracy
Media Democracy?

“The concept of “democratising the media” has no real meaning within the terms of the political discourse in the United States. In fact, the phrase has a paradoxical or even vaguely subversive ring to it. Citizen participation would be considered an infringement on freedom of the press, a blow struck against the independence of the media that would distort the mission they have undertaken to inform the public without fear or favour…this is because the general public must be reduced to its traditional apathy and obedience, and driven from the arena of political debate and action, if democracy is to survive” (Noam Chomsky)

slide14

“Let it be impressed upon your minds, let it be instilled into your children, that the liberty of the press is the palladium of all the civil, political, and religious rights.” (Junius)