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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Freedom of the media: a philosophical analysis
Author:Miller, SeumasISNI
Year:1995
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy (ISSN 1011-226X)
Volume:9
Issue:1
Period:June
Pages:66-83
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:parliamentary systems
mass communication
law
press
Civil liberties
human rights
Abstract:In general there is an uncertain and muted response to the intellectual challenge to the freedom of the press. The reply to the question of why there ought to be freedom of the press is often framed in terms of clichés. The present author develops a rationally acceptable justification for the freedom of the press, or at least for the freedom of the media, and determines its implications. He is concerned with both the print and electronic mass media, but only with their role in relation to so-called hard news, and comment and analysis of recent events and developments. The situation in South Africa serves as example. The author outlines three roles or functions of the (news) media and considers the justification of the freedom of the media in relation to each. He concludes that the freedom of the media is justified in part because of its legitimate role as the provider of a forum for citizens to communicate to the public at large, and in part because of its legitimate role as an investigator and communicator of matters the public has a right to know. However, the media does not have a fundamental right to exist as an autonomous communicator, although there are a number of pragmatic arguments in favour of such a role. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in French.
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