Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press is a luxury that developing nations simply cannot afford.” Do you agree?

In the 21st century society, the human race has become its own greatest enemy. Progressing at an incalculably rapid speed, technology, social and humanitarian issues are threatening the very existence of human beings as individuals. A century ago, individuals faced a change in societal values, technology, and an outbreak of rebellions and wars. A century ago, there was a lack of awareness of the outside world, and constant conflict between change and lack thereof. A century ago, social, technological and humanitarian issues were swept under the carpet because individuals were not aware of their problems, did not know how to solve these issues, or even worse, did not want to resolve them. Now, in the 21st century, the human race faces yet another challenge. The constant upheavals of societal values and technology have made individuals uncertain of who they are, where they stand in society and what the reality of their situation actually is. Now, they face the constant conflict between change and too much change. Individuals in the 21st century society face great difficulties in resolving issues of change because of political point gaining, social controversy and the incessant manipulation of truth. The problems of the 21st century are of momentous proportion unforeseen by any other generation of the human race. Terrorism, famine, poverty, wars, AIDS, refugees, crime and drugs are only some of the many issues that society can no longer sweep under the carpet. Free press is the only way that atrocities against humanity can be voiced, heard and addressed.

For centuries, governments have manipulated the truth to suit their wants and needs, and their wants and needs only. Although times, values and beliefs have changed, the manipulation of truth has not. The presence of free press acts as a watchdog for those daring to abuse their power and authority. Without free press, the oppression of rights by the Taliban and other such regimes would go past unheard by an otherwise deaf society. Without free press, the crimes committed by the Chinese government and other such governments would go past unseen by an otherwise blind society. Without free press, the destruction of indigenous cultures around the world would go past unknown by an otherwise prejudiced society.

Women’s rights did not eventuate because society decided to open its eyes. The manipulation of truth by governments was not elucidated because society decided to open its ears. Issues of poverty and famine in third world countries drowning in foreign debt were not brought forward because society decided to open its heart. The defects in the 21st century society are highlighted by free press, and free press alone. The fundamental benefit of free press is that it enables individuals to discern for themselves what the truth is, after receiving reports about what is happening in their country, in the world and in society as a whole. Today in the 21st century society, the media is a watchdog that serves as a critic for atrocities against individuals, civilizations and humanity.

To those individuals presiding in developed, privileged and wealthy countries, access to information and free press is, quite simply, at the tip of their fingertips. Information can be acquired from a variety of television networks, newspapers, magazines, websites, programs and publications. Yet access to this information is available to only those fortunate enough to afford them. The majority of today’s civilised and modernized societies preside under the thrall of tyranny, whereby which, only officially approved information appears in the media. There are those individuals in less developed and privileged countries that continue to suffer under a barrage of lies, inevitably to die from hunger or thirst for a word of truth.

Hundreds of millions of people in the 21st century society have no contact with the media. In many parts of Africa, television, radio and even newspapers are nonexistent. Even though some countries are fortunate enough to receive TV transmissions, there are many individuals who cannot afford the luxury of TV sets. A significant portion of humanity still lives outside of the influence of the media and has no reason to worry about media manipulation, or the bad influence of