The 3rd of May is the day for the freedom of the press. It had been created by the UNESCO to defend the freedom of expression of journalists, but this fundamental right is being flouted everywhere. The freedom of the press is mentioned in every constitution of the western countries, with respect to the Human Rights, and is linked to the emergence of democratic regimes. Like this, journalists, in the western countries are supposed to be totally free, anywhere, anytime. Even during war, journalists are supposed to be able to do their job freely. History shows us that the Vietnam War is known for this freedom allowed by the American government to the journalists in reporting conflict. But according to a lot of authors, this freedom has been one of the biggest reasons for the loss of the war. Thus, after this conflict, western governments have been led to think that during war they should control the media, to avoid this happening again. What kind of control on media is necessary and acceptable in a democratic country during war?
[...] Thus, for all this reasons, it seems important for the National interest, which is to win the war, that in war time, western governments should be able to restrict the media. But if governments want it to be effective, the media should not hold traces of censorship, because if they do, people would not believe them anymore. Nevertheless, it is true that the public, in the free lands that are the western countries, has a “right to even in war time. [...]
[...] But as soon as they lose their independence from governments, once that they become subject to State regulation, they may lose their role of “watchdog”. This is a threat for Democracy. That is why in the western democratic countries, the State should be unable to restrict journalists. Thus, the western countries, due to being democratic and respectful of Human Rights, could not be able to restrict nor to control journalists. The media are becoming more and more important; they have increasing power. This is linked to the role that they have to play in Democracy, which gives them legitimacy and attention from people. [...]
[...] So, we can say that the fundamental principles of the western governments are attributed to journalists a big role, and that the modern techniques of communication give them the means of corresponding, which make them really powerful. This power of the media can be seen under two angles. Firstly, the media are able to influence the governments' actions. This power can moreover be seen through the example of what we could call the effect”. Secondly, the media can have an influence on people. [...]
[...] The true question could thus be, not “should western governments be able to regulate journalists”, but western governments able to do BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Alphabetic filing: Allen Tim and Seaton, Jean, The Media of Conflict, Zed Books, London and New York Carruthers, Susan L., The Media At War, Palgrave Macmillan Curran James, Media and Power, Routledge, London and New York Negrine Ralph, Politics and the Mass Media in Birtain, Routledge, London and New York, Second Edition Raboy Marc and Dagenais Bernard, Media Crises And Democracy Mass Communication And Distruption Of the Social Order, Publication Sage, London and New Deli [...]
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