What is Freedom of the Press?

The term “The Press” could be a little difficult to define. When the term is mentioned, what often comes to mind is the “mainstream” media including newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations. In most cases, Freedom of the Press is limited to these mainstream media while neglecting other aspects of “the Press”. However, the press includes every iota of publication that serves as a means of information to the public. Most importantly, the Press is all about information and anything intended at informing the public can be categorized as such.

Press Freedom or Freedom of the Press is very important. One of the most important aspects of Press Freedom is the “Freedom of Expression”. This is vital because it is an integral aspect of the human rights. The Freedom of Expression is not limited to the journalist but every citizen has a right to free speech. This freedom is applicable in a democratic society. In other systems of government, the fundamental human rights are limited and so the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press, in general, is limited.

Press Freedom is very vital because of the role played by the Press in a democratic society. It is the duty of the Press to inform the citizens of events happening around them. The Press has the responsibility to search out information and circulate them through every means possible. Their duty involves questioning those in authority and, in general, enforcing the forces of democracy. It would be sufficient to say that a democratic society would not be complete without the role of the Press.

The Press serves as the voice of the people and acts as activists, guardians, entertainers, educators and so forth in the local, regional and national levels. They amplify the voices of the people and this makes their freedom important. Obviously, Press Freedom is equivalent to societal freedom. Places in the world with poor Press Freedom Index are notorious for their draconian rules and deviates from the democratic standards. However, the most important characteristics of highly democratic societies are their high Press Freedom Index. The top five countries in the list include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Netherlands.