Freedom of the media

Freedom of the media

This Module focuses on the written press, radio and television broadcasting. The resources are organized according to the two principles that govern Media regulation -diversity and pluralism - and their meaning as applied to different mediums. The Module also includes readings that critically assess the role of the Media and of press freedom in contemporary societies and the digital challenges to the traditional Media business model.

8 items found, showing 1 - 8
Author: Jerome A. Barron
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"The press, long enshrined among our most highly cherished institutions, was thought a cornerstone of democracy when its name was boldly inscribed in the Bill of Rights. Freed from governmental restraint, initially by the first amendment and later by the fourteenth, the press was to stand majestically as the champion of new ideas and the watch dog against governmental abuse. Professor Barron finds this conception of the first amendment, perhaps realistic in the eighteenth century heyday of political pamphleteering, essentially romantic in an era marked by extraordinary technological developments in the communications industry. To make viable the time-honored "marketplace" theory, he argues for a twentieth century interpretation of the first amendment which will impose an affirmative responsibility on the monopoly newspaper to act as sounding board for new ideas and old grievances."

Barron, Jerome A. "Access to the Press. A New First Amendment Right." Harvard Law Review 80, no. 8 (1967): 1641-678. doi:10.2307/1339417.

Author: IACmHR
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In October 2000, following debates among different civil society organizations, and in support of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights approved the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression. The Declaration constitutes a basic document for interpreting Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In light of the importance of these principles, the Commission also published an interpretation of the principles set forth in the Declaration.

OAS, IACmHR. Background and Interpretation of the Declaration of Principles. 108th regular period of sessions. 2-20 October 2000

Author: Nani Jansen Reventlow
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“The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes important transparency and accountability requirements on different actors who process personal data. This is great news for the protection of individual data privacy. However, given that “personal information and human stories are the raw material of journalism,” what does the GDPR mean for freedom of expression and especially for journalistic activity? This essay argues that, although EU states seem to have taken their data protection obligations under the GDPR seriously, efforts to balance this against the right to freedom of expression have been more uneven. The essay concludes that it is of key importance to ensure that the GDPR's safeguards for data privacy do not compromise a free press.”

Reventlow, Nani Jansen. “Can the GDPR and Freedom of Expression Coexist?”. AJIL Unbound 114 (2020): 31-34.

Author: IACtHR
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“[T]he Government of Costa Rica […] submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights […] an advisory opinion request relating to the interpretation of Articles 13 [Freedom of thought and expression] and 29 [Restrictions Regarding Interpretation] of the American Convention on Human Rights […] as they affect the compulsory membership in an association prescribed by law for the practice of journalism […]. The request also sought the Court's interpretation relating to the compatibility of Law No. 4420 of September 22, 1969, Organic Law of the Colegio de Periodistas (Association of Journalists) of Costa Rica […], with the provisions of the aforementioned articles.”

IACtHR, Compulsory Membership in an Association Prescribed by Law for the Practice of Journalism. Advisory Opinion OC-5/85. Series A, No. 5. 13 November 1985

Author: UN Human Rights Council, David Kaye
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“The present report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, is being submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 34/18. In the report the Special Rapporteur registers alarm that some efforts to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may be failing to meet the standards of legality, necessity and proportionality. The Special Rapporteur highlights five areas of concern, showing that access to information, independent media and other free expression rights are critical to meeting the challenges of pandemic.”

UN Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye. Disease Pandemics and the Freedom of Opinion and Expression. A/HRC/44/49. April 2020.

Author: UN Human Rights Council, Irene Khan
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“In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression examines the threats posed by disinformation to human rights, democratic institutions and development processes. While acknowledging the complexities and challenges posed by disinformation in the digital age, the Special Rapporteur finds that the responses by States and companies have been problematic, inadequate and detrimental to human rights. She calls for multidimensional and multi-stakeholder responses that are well grounded in the international human rights framework and urges companies to review their business model and States to recalibrate their responses to disinformation, enhancing the role of free, independent and diverse media, investing in media and digital literacy, empowering individuals and rebuilding public trust.”

UN Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Irene Khan. Disinformation and Freedom of Opinion and Expression. A/HRC/47/25. April 2021.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
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Here you will find the Syllabus for the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression. This course will examine the norms, institutions and forces that altogether have founded a global system of protection for freedom of expression and information. The Foundational Course will include four main segments. It will first survey the thinking of 19th century and contemporary political theorists, Judges in the early years of the twentieth century, and economists to discover why freedom of expression and information matters, and the values and principles that are established through free speech. The second will review the emergence of an international system of protection for freedom of expression, including the international and regional institutions and standards, and the role of international courts. The third and fourth class will focus on the scope of freedom of expression and on its legitimate limits. We will provide answer two key questions: What kind of speech is protected under international standards? What kind of speech may be restricted by Governments and how can it be legally restricted?

Author: Nordicom, Ulla Carlsson (ed)
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“In 2016, UNESCO and the Government of Finland [co-hosted] the World Press Freedom Day’s main event in Helsinki, 3-4 May – for the first time in the Nordic Region. 2016 also marks the 250th anniversary of a Swedish fundamental law – The Freedom of the Press Act. This law prohibited censorship and guaranteed public access to official records, and was the first in the world to do so. Both these celebrations can be seen as appropriate background scenarios to this new book. In 2009, Nordicom published Freedom of Speech Abridged? Cultural, legal and philosophical challenges, an anthology focusing on the traditional concept of individual freedom of expression. A few years later, Nordicom published Freedom of Expression Revisited. Citizenship and journalism in the digital era. The current publication, published by the UNESCO Chair at the University of Gothenburg in collaboration with Nordicom, may be seen as a follow-up to these earlier titles. It is based on research in the Nordic countries, but many of the studies are global in nature and the results of collaborations between researchers from many parts of the world. Several of the articles also contain valuable reflections and second thoughts. It is hoped that these articles by Nordic researchers will contribute to knowledge development in the field as well as to global and regional discussions about freedom of expression, press freedom and the role of journalists, and communication rights in contemporary societies – in an era of globalization and digitization.” 

Nordicom, Ulla Carlsson (ed). “Freedom of Expression and Media in Transition: Studies and Reflections in the Digital Age”. 2016.