Is there the freedom of speech nowadays?
A democratic society strives for freedom and freedom of people to state their opinions without being afraid of consequences. One way of expressing your opinion publicly is the media, however, is there the freedom of the press nowadays? While many agree that the press should serve both society and individuals, we are witnessing something else. Few people would say that the press today is objective, “feeling instead the press’s forcefulness, flattery, vehemence and sometimes fanaticism”.
The importance of free speech has been emphasized for centuries. Thomas Jefferson stated, “I am…for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.” Why then, so many years later, are we still struggling to make this true? In my opinion, that is because large multinational media corporations are too powerful and have enormous influence and control. They can decide which information they will give to the public and there is no way to stop them. This problem can be seen both in the US and Serbia, where the press is biased, clearly choosing sides. Moreover, there is a problem with fake news. Not only is the press subjective, but also you must be aware of the plethora of fake news.
However, “the newer media such as the Internet and computer technology have increased the channels of communication that can exist to resist and counter the potential hegemonic, corporate power of the multinationals“as Campbell, Neil and Alasdair Kean claimed. This is important because there is no way to censor the Internet, and thus if you cannot hear the truth from the press you will be able to read it on social media. On the other hand, this can be a double-edged sword. Freedom can also be misused, and a lot of people are hiding behind anonymity on the Internet and use it to offend other people from the comfort of their homes. So, as Dewey claimed, “the democratic idea of freedom is not the right of each individual to do as he pleases/even if it be qualified by adding provided he does not interfere with the same freedom on the part of others.“
In conclusion, we must be aware that there is no freedom of speech nowadays, that is there is no complete freedom. Some countries might have more objective media than others, but still, we must be aware that nothing we read online is 100% true. A good way to check this is by implementing the four moves we did last semester. And finally, do not use your freedom to offend others.
I hereby confirm that this work is solely the result of my own independent scholarly work and that if any ideas, text passages, or diagrams from books, papers, the Web or other sources have been copied, paraphrased, or in any other way used, all references – including those found in electronic media – have been clearly acknowledged and fully cited.