The International Press Institute was established in 1950 with the belief that a free press would contribute to the creation of a better world. For over 58 years, it has strived to protect the rights of journalists from all over the world who are in unstable or oppressive situations. But there are still many reporters who are being targeted for speaking up against injustices witnessed or experienced. Do you think that there is true freedom of the press internationally? Of the 5176 people who responded to our poll, 2629 or 51 per cent felt that journalists today are commercialised.
Complete press freedom does not exist anywhere in the world.
In the West, such as in Europe, there is freedom of the press. In the United Kingdom, a person or the media can say or do anything they want without worrying about censorship. The press there is more open, even though people take advantage of the freedom by trying to manipulate the media. In the Middle East, things are more censored.
– Andrew Parkinson
Press freedom means that you can go anywhere. Reporters are able to go to different countries to find out if there are any problems and speak to the people, no matter the situation. In special circumstances, reporters are even able to report on different topics that might not be good, either about their home countries or the countries they are staying in.
– Madhavi Latha
I am from Sri Lanka and the press there is censored. The amount of freedom given varies from country to country; some are more open than others. Here, there are many newspapers that give a lot of information but are still censored. In the UAE, there are still things that are not published. The international press focus more on other countries instead of publishing local news.
– Dilan Selvadurai
Many people like to suppress information so that people are unaware of what's happening. If there were a problem, such as economic loss, they would not allow the press to publish the actual figures. In those countries, what you read is what you know. If a person wants to know the truth about something, they have to read or hear about it from somewhere else.
– Mohit Talreja
Censorship is mostly a result of people self-censoring.
In the US, there is a freedom of the press but the news is censored by our society. Sometimes, a reporter would like to print an article but would not because of factors like the reactions of their boss or the public. Even on television, some things are not reported. But smaller newspapers are free to publish certain articles because they are of lesser consequence.
– Monty Greene
Most things should be made available to the press but they should exercise caution. In cases where something that has happened was violent or gruesome, the media should publish the reports but not include the graphic details. Also, the press should be cautious about being manipulated or announcing their support on a certain topic or for a political candidate.
– Mark Jarvis
Newspapers might self-censor because they do not want to give any information that might hamper their image. If they publish something that readers find upsetting, then their reputation would be damaged. So if the report is not very offensive, then they would publish it. In India and the UAE, I have noticed that newspapers follow the taste of the readers when it comes to their articles.
– Abin Nihan
If I am watching something on television and something that I do not like comes up, I would change the channel. Therefore, in a way I am censoring myself. If newspapers are not sure about the information in an article then they should not publish it.
– Jackie Lou Dela Cruz
The media sometimes uses press freedom as an excuse for irresponsible journalism.
The media does not cover things like international politics in a responsible way. They tend to sensationalise. Journalists use press freedom to reinforce their beliefs or ideas without being objective, which is wrong. The press uses the idea of freedom irresponsibly by focusing too much on things like the elections of the US, instead of reporting on other topics.
– Soheib Ghazali
Sometimes the media reports things that are not true or accurate. They sensationalise so that they can increase their circulation. Most so the newspapers use different tactics to attract readers to buy the newspaper. But sometimes, the press reports things accurately like accidents that have happened or other local news stories.
– Sanju Vohanan
The press and media are not doing anything wrong if they use press freedom in order to expose scandals. That helps the people of that country and from around the world to know what is happening. That will help stop the person who is wrong from continuing his actions. The information could be spread through various mediums such as television and radio.
– Masoud Khan
Some-times the press acts irresponsibly, such as the incident between the paparazzi and Lady Diana that caused her death. When it comes to celebrities, the media should not intrude in their personal lives. But if they want to report on politics, they should be free to report on what is going on rather than sensationalise it.
– Adib Abdul Samad
A truly free newspaper pushes for ideological change rather than just crusading.
Most newspapers would not really push for change. They would focus only on what would sell the most and publish that. No matter what a person did, whether it was good or bad, it would most likely be published. Very few publications would publish the truth that would help bring change. The newspapers should publish the reports in an unbiased way so readers can decide whether they support it or not.
– Ian Walker
A free newspaper would become more reliable as a source of information. It would help expose the problems in the country, which would bring about change. In the Philippines, because the press is free, people are aware of what is happening. The previous presidents tried to limit their freedom but now that it is more open, people find out the truth. Newspapers can call for change that will benefit the country.
– Mark Panesa
I thought that the newspapers in the region would be more helpful to the public because you can interact with them. If they are given more freedom then they could push for more change. They can do that by publishing reports and seeing the public's reaction to them. The government can also use the reactions as a guideline to fix problems.
– Roseyln Samson
If a newspaper did not have to worry about censorship, then it would help to shape society. They drive society and so when they have the freedom to publish what they want, they can bring about good changes. Newspapers that publish reports of problems bring attention to the issue and also provide solutions.
– Venkat P.G.