Talk:Freedom of the press

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I personally believe (And I assume that opinions are welcome in the "discussion" section) that while freedom of the press is one of the most important things in making up a democracy and in the formation of a country, "freedom of the press" is not code for "all journalists start bashing any citizen or government worker." I tend not to trust much press on the account of prior experience, and I feel that many people are said to have either done, said, or believed things that they have not; and I certainly hope journalists both check their sources and care about their important role in the society of their country.

Someone different i think that this person ^^ is very right. i also believe that it is good to listen to everything that the press says —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Alternatives to reporters without borders?[edit]

Are there any other indexes out there that measure freedom of press other than reporters without borders, why is that the only one listed? xcuref1endx 15:17, Nov 27 06 (UTC)


Burke did not say the quote attributed to him in this article. Carlyle did, but he did not come up with the concept.

Reporters without Borders[edit]

This page states that the ranking is based on the freedom of the press, which is somewhat untrue. The ranking also depends on the safety of journalists in that country. A government may have free laws for journalists, but if attacks on journalists by citizens are common, the ranking is low. This distinction ought to be pointed out, but it would, in no small way, render worthless the addition of the rankings on this page.

I googled Freedom of the Press and this wiki came up. Right beneath it was this entry: Freedom of the PressFreedom House has been at the forefront in monitoring threats to media independence since 1980. Our annual survey tracks trends in global press freedom and ... - 33k - Cached - Similar pages

I uploaded the 2007 "Reporters Without Borders" image. Akeeq (talk) 10:22, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Their listing is utter BS. How does the UK have more press freedom than the US? There are many things that the UK press cannot report on (such as the names of suspects for many crimes, certain info regarding the Head of State) that the US press can talk away on. Not to mention the fact that in the UK, the biggest broadcast news network is owned and operated directly by the government in London. So how is the UK ranked higher than the US in this? PS, I'm not trying to bash the UK on this (I love the UK), I just am trying to understand such nonsense. (talk) 01:16, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Most free press?[edit]

What does it mean that norway iceland and someone had "the most free press" in 2003? What makes them different? Gkhan 00:28, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)

Basic Principles[edit]

Two comments on this section --

"Many people apparently misunderstand and think that the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is very different from the right to freedom of speech."

Comments: "Many people" is a weasel-word clause; what's your source for this? Also, this is very U.S.-centric. A section on "basic principles" should be more general, with country-specific issues reserved for later sections.

"The law does not give the media any special rights that the rest of the people do not have."

Comments: Again, what's your source? Some people (such as, for example, The New York Times) may disagree with this view. - RussBlau 13:15, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC) the freedom of the press is also known as the freedom of the media. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Article Organization[edit]

Although I appreciate the effort to provide some structure for COTWs participants, the attempt to classify the history of Freedom of the press by type of government may lead to trouble. Where does the history of press licensing in Great Britain in the 17th and 18th Centuries go -- under "Democratic" or "Classical Monarchies"? After all, the country wasn't very democratic in those days. Where does pre-1917 Russia go? RussBlau 13:18, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

Have you considered changing it instead of complaining? I find many of these COTW never get off the ground because there is never any structure. I tried to cover as many topics as I could in the structure, but I'm obviously not an expert on the subject. If you have a problem, change it. That's the idea of this website.
--JHMM13 16:05, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
I did consider it, but I also thought the person who put in that structure might have had some reasons for doing it, and considered that this person might want to explain those reasons before someone else came in and rearranged it. -RussBlau 13:38, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)


The D-notice is an interesting occurance in the UK - perhaps it should be discussed with its notable "misuses" (Blair's daughter's suicide attempt). --Oldak Quill 17:02, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Internet censorship study group reports on China[edit]

Can someone link the article to this story published at Wikinews? Thanks --Eleassar777 13:17, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)


The intro is somewhat misleading concerning government protection of sensitive information. Making information classified isn't the same as not allowing it to be reported in the press. Both Britain and the United States have laws defining classified information. Britain also has laws that allow the government to stop the press from printing this information. (The Official Secrets Act does this, I think.) The United States, with minor exceptions, does not have such laws: once classified information is leaked to the press, the U.S. government can't legally stop them from printing it. Isomorphic 03:31, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Unsigned comment[edit]

Freedom of the press is v. important


I don't see why the two articles should be merged. While in the U.S. Constitution the two ideas are intertwined I feel that the concepts are different enough to warrant two articles. I would like to hear from the user that proposed the merge as well. Thecolemanation 07:56, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

DON'T MERGE!!!![edit]


  • Strong oppose - do not merge! These are two very different subjects each of which covers a vast amount of subject matter. - Reaverdrop 00:37, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
  • SUPPORT MERGE WITH COPIOUS BOLD TEXT AND CAPS LOCK USE!!!! Seriously, though, although a full merger may not be necessary, some elementary interlinking and potential overlap reorganizing needs to be done. --Vuo 03:10, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Mass media consolidation[edit]

Testing a sense of editors here, about potentially adding a paragraph under History/United States regarding the issue of mass media consolidation summarizing this reporting [1][2][3]. In short, that consolidation of ownership of the mass media/press in the United States has been subject of criticism for reducing diversity of opinion, and being detrimental of freedom of the press. A variation on the theme of A. J. Liebling "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." [4]BruceHallman 18:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

i wouldn't merge the two articles- just link them. Freedom of press is a BIG article, as well.


I am confused and curious if the Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed) is generally considered a protected right of through Freedom of the Press, or is it just considered Freedom of Speech. A parallel question is that of editorial judgement, where an editor chooses to publish only unfavorably/favorable news politically critical of a government: Is that a form of Freedom of the Press? I ask this because the article seems to skirt the issue of Op-Ed, and the associated issue of the political power of the press of of the editors. Face it, the Elephant in the room regarding Freedom of the Press is the associated political power, the article doesn't really address this well. BruceHallman 18:25, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

History section[edit]

I think this section is far too long and includes information that is largely based on the US experience, which is already covered by another article. Can we trim this down a bit? I'll do so myself in a week or so if no-one objects. Mnbf9rca 00:44, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Government work is not copyright protected[edit]

So here is a link to the fair use section of the federal copyright act. Chivista 12:49, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Read it. To see what you cut out and what I argue is fair use, people will have to look at this Talk page's history, unless it gets reposted.
Now as to reposting it, I say it should be reposted as it does indeed comply with §107.
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
(1) The purpose and character of the use is clearly nonprofit educational. This is an encyclopedia, no? Free, no? (2) the nature of the copyrighted work deals directly with freedom of the press as the highest ranking Democrats and even former President Clinton took various actions to stop the presses freedom, including threatening to remove station licenses just for telling the truth that Clinton did basically nothing about terrorism and was never really interested in it. Here's a guy who could remember financial facts and figures of entire agencies but had to be reminded that our troops were still in Khobar Towers and needed to be moved out but only on Presidential order. (3) now on this point I conceed I used 100% of the article, but its content necessitated that as providing only portions would not provide the full picture. (4) The effect of the use of this article may actually serve to ENHANCE the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work -- indeed this enhancement should be considered just as the 100% usage is being considered.
All in all, I see that article being printed here as the near perfect case for Fair Use. I will restore the article in about a week if no further objection is made by then. --SafeLibraries 03:46, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
This is the talk page for a Wikipedia article. It's not a bulletin board. There is no need to have the complete text of an article printed here. That's what external links are for. Isomorphic 06:38, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Okay, but that goes to a different issue than copyright. I'll see if I can find an external link. --SafeLibraries 12:56, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and as to the inclusion of the entire article, the article was written by the very person sought to be muzzled by the Democrat members of the government, about the very subject of the freedom of the press, and revealed the very tactics used to demonize the writer so as to accomplish their goals of getting people to agree to discard the law where it benefits the Democrats political interests against the interests of the public and the Constitution. Now you may disagree with what I just said, but rarely is such an article written that gives such a complete, well-written overview on the dangers involved in freedom of the press when certain political group wish to jettison the law of the land to accomplish there own political goals. But for the US Constitution, these Democrats would indeed use their brute force to stop the truth from being revealed and would get away with it, essentially making the US government just like any other government that has full control over what its media publishes. Now this being the Freedom of the Press page, this article is directly relevant to the issue and of major importance. Mind you, although these acts were done by Democrats, I would say and do exactly the same thing if it were done by Republicans, so let's not make politics an issue. The facts are the facts. Oh, let me guess the next argument - the Republicans stopped the Ronald Reagan miniseries. Correct, but that miniseries was fiction whereas the 9/11 story was fact, with drama added for effect.--SafeLibraries 13:15, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
You are misunderstanding the purpose of this page. Please read Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Wikipedia is an encyclopia. This page exists so that editors will have a place to discuss changes to its accompanying article. It's not a forum for debating politics. There are plenty of places on the internet for that, but this isn't one of them. Isomorphic 17:32, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not debating politics. I am instead valuing the article precisely because of its factual content. The article is directly related to the wiki page. It is by the very person being pressured politically to eliminate freedom of the press. The case is of major significance because of the facts of the case I do not need to repeat here. The article provides source material for editors to know as they work on improving this wiki page. Politics has nothing to do with it. But it seems by the repeated (successful so far) efforts to accomplish the suppression of the information that it is you who has a political point of view here -- that being you disagree with the content of the views expressed by the author who was subjected to a full court press to shut down the freedom of the press in his case. That is directly relevant to this freedom of the press page. Editors come here to discuss changes to this page. That article is so significant that editors may wish to consider it while discussing changes to this page. Indeed, that is why I posted it here. I posted it for people to consider, not to just go on and make my own edit. The facts as presented by the author seem to cuase you to continue to justify why the article supposedly doesn't belong here. Have you read the article? Is it not perfect discussion material for editors to be changing this page? I only posted it. If my statements seemed political, that is only your POV and only after the article was removed due to claimed but erroneous copyright violation and I attempted to explain why fair use applies by showing the interest to be educational, not commercial, etc. --SafeLibraries 20:51, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't a link work? I am not certain but maybe that will avoid liability. Chivista 21:30, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes. I just didn't know one at the time. --SafeLibraries 21:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion of Cyrus Nowrasteh documentary as example of censorship[edit]


The Path to Hysteria; My sin was to write a screenplay accurately depicting Bill Clinton's record on terrorism.

By Cyrus Nowrasteh
Monday, September 18, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
The Wall Street Journal

Okay, all, there's the link to the Wall Street Journal site with the article about an author and the press being threatened by major members of the government and by a former President who figured poorly in the film. --SafeLibraries 22:26, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Any editor of this page ought to consider this article as must reading on the subject of freedom of the press. --SafeLibraries 23:57, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you ver much. Chivista 20:43, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
You are such a revisionist you even changed the title of this Talk section to a nasty one! I frankly don't know how any of your edits could be trusted ever on Wikipedia! Frankly, I should look at all your history edits to ensure you did not change my words. --SafeLibraries 03:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Safelibraries, you are coming on to WP arguing POV and Cyrus Nowrasteh is not an unbiased source of information about his own work. A dissection of that Op-Ed you keep trying to insert in WP is here: Regardless, this Op-Ed has no place in Freedom of Speech or Freedom of the Press. Unlike, say, the Nixon Administration trying to suppress the Pentagon Papers Mr. Nowrasteh has neither been suppressed nor had his speech curtailed. He is also not a member of the press, but a self-proclaimed Conservative who made a demonstrably inaccurate documentary. What you are doing is not an effort to spread truth to readers of WP, but instead distort reality. In the end, this Op-Ed has no place here because it is inherently and demonstrably flawed. Clinton definitely could have done more, but so could have Bush (which HAS been demonstrated - remember "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States?). But this is not the place for you to push your agenda-driven view of reality. Please stop. --DavidShankBone 15:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

You say "Mr. Nowrasteh has neither been suppressed nor had his speech curtailed." But the whole point of my suggested addition was that that was exactly what was being threatened!!! It doesn't have to actually have happened to appear on this page. You are missing the point, claiming the sugested addition is POV. Claim all you want; what those people did in this case is one of the most serious potential infringements on freedom of the press (the ABC stations) this nation has seen in quite some time. Sorry if your POV doesn't want to admit that. --SafeLibraries 18:52, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
You must be joking about the last line, or you don't follow the news. Can you at all find a source to substantiate that there were threats to pull the licenses from ABC, aside from the heresy of the documentary producer himself? If so, please post a link to a mainstream publication, because a Google news search only comes up with Nowrasteh saying it. That doesn't make it so. And please, explain to me how a minority party, that is not in control of the FCC, the Congress, or the White House, can get the licenses of television stations pulled? Could you please explain this to me? So, we have a self-described Conservative documentary maker, whose documentary was criticized for fabrications by both liberals and conservatives, claiming that a minority party who doesn't control any organs of the government was going to pull the licenses of television stations? If this is the sort of stuff you are going to insert into WP, Safelibraries, then you are hurting the site itself. We aren't here to push agendas, we are here to seek truth and come to consensus. You are hurting your own credibility by standing so high-and-mighty on a documentary that has been criticized by everyone and proven to be inaccurate. Is that really the way you want to go? --DavidShankBone 19:00, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Freedom of the Press outdated[edit]

The press and the media have been abusing their freedom for too long. What they choose to report and cover as "News" is based solely on how much $money$ they can milk the story for. As a result, society and our cultural consciousness are being perverted, twisted and manipulated for profit. To begin with, everytime a reporter sticks a microphone or camera in the face of an accused individual they must be held liable for the damage and hardship they are incurring. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:42, 1 October 2006


In the History->England section of the article, the following sentence appears: "The main theoretical inspirator of Western liberalism was John Locke." "Inspirator" is defined by The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 as "A kind of injector for forcing water by steam." and I could not find any other definition for the word. I suspect that the original author meant "inspiration," but I am not sure that is the appropriate word there. Anyone have suggestions for a better replacement? —Krellis 22:23, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Ambiguous sentence[edit]

From the second paragraph of the intro: "For example, Australians have nothing to do with the constitution nor with the Freedom of the Press." What does that mean? "the constitution" = the US Constitution? The Australian Constitution? Does Australia not have guaranteed freedom of the press? I will try to sort this out. Foxmulder 18:09, 18 December 2006 (UTC)


The Encyclopedia Britannica states, "Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. It also extends to news gathering, and processes involved in obtaining information for public distribution 20:13, 10 January 2007 (UTC)


Hey, maybe France deserves a place in the history section. After all, weren't pamphlets and independent newspapers vital to the revolution? That's about the extent to what I remember from 11th grade European History class.

- from an non-Francophile American


I believe this article deserves a criticism section as there is criticism of the freedom of press. Wayne016 01:49, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Dove.jpg[edit]

The image Image:Dove.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --03:14, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


I deleted mention of Israel from list of countries with least freedom of the press, because it is false, and Israel is the only country in the region that rated "satisfactory situation" by the Index. Just check it in the The Worldwide press freedom index page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:28, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Mirari Vos[edit]

While reading on the history of the notion freedom of the press, I noticed that the early 1830s encyclical Mirari Vos gave a strong condemnation to the entire notion of press freedom, and compared it to the cheap selling of poison, in the form of public disinformation and general support for heresy. This same encyclical also condemns Freemasonry and suggests that freedom of the press is an emanation from secret societies. Anyways, there needs to be more historical work done on the history of press freedom and on monarchic and ecclesiastic opposition to the whole idea. ADM (talk) 22:28, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

How is it decided who is press?[edit]

I saw some 9/11 conspiracy guy got arrested in the USA for "impersonating the press". I thought this was very odd, the guy basically used his press pass to try and get to shout at Bloomberg. I would have expected charges of harrassment or the like, as it's not the first time the man had tried to confront Bloomberg. A charge of impersonating the press seems very odd. How is it decided in the USA who is press or not?

It seems like just being able to decide who is press or not is a lack of freedom of the press, and there are many other more appropriate crimes they could have charged the guy with if they wanted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, there are no laws saying "Impersonation of the Press" is illegal. What probably happened is that, for security reasons, to go to the press conference at which Bloomberg was talking, this guy in question probably lied to get those credentials or stole them, and this is most likely what he was arrested for. But saying he was arrested for "impersonating the press" is probably deliberately misquoted to fit his or another's conspiracy agenda. (talk) 01:05, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
This article perpetuates a major fallacy. Freedom of the press is the freedom of people to express their opinion in writing/printed material. It is the natural companion to freedom of speech--freedom of oral expression. The "press" just refers to a printing press. Constitutions and fundamental statements of individual rights don't guarantee anything special to the journalism industry. Noloop (talk) 15:32, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, actually, they do when you consider that, at least in the US, the Supreme Court would consider the rights of individual journalists to also apply to larger conglomerations of journalists (i.e, the journalism industry)--the justices certainly wouldn't be so stupid and dense as to protect the rights of an individual reporter while not applying the same protections to an entire newspaper or news network (and, indeed, they protect both--at least in terms of exercising free speech; obviously, freedom of the press doesn't mean that, let's say, The New York Times has the right to murder people and not pay taxes just because it's "free"). (talk) 01:05, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 20:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


At history is only said sth. about Nazi-Germany, I think someone should describe the current situation in Germany. —Preceding unsigned comment added by PetBjo123 (talkcontribs) 09:49, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

South Africa additions/deletions[edit]

The following material was added at 21:18 and 21:22 on 31 May 2011 by Voiceoftheminority and deleted as unsourced at 22:09, 31 May 2011 by NeilN. I'm copying it here because it might make a good addition to the article, if someone can add citations. Jeff Ogden (talk) 03:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

===South Africa===
During South Africa's apartheid regime, which lasted from 1946 to 1994, the National Party lead government imposed strict censorship laws on the media. They used those laws as a part of their plan to subdue the citizens of the country, and to continue their autocratic, racially segregated rule.
Following the change to a democratic system, the ANC assumed power in South Africa, and the advent of the new constitution enshrined the right to freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press in the country.
However, in a move by the ANC government that echoes the policies of apartheid, a new bill, called the Protection of Information Bill, threatens to remove press freedom, particularly where it is used in the context of investigative journalism, and uncovers corrupt activities within government.
Activism groups, such as the Right2Know campaign, seek to have the bill's 'draconian' stipulations altered before it is passed by parliament, but at present, it seems that the ruling party will use their majority in parliament to pass the bill unchanged, effectively silencing the media, and posing a serious risk to the continuance of democracy in South Africa. Without opposition, it appears that the bill may be passed in 2011, thereby ending the freedom of the press in South Africa, and imposing jail sentences on journalists who investigate government sanctioned crimes and corruption.

United States v. The Progressive[edit]

This is a fascinating legal case, anyone want to collaborate on improving the page with me? Please leave a note on my user talk page,—Cirt (talk) 18:55, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Freedom of speech = New WikiProject[edit]

I've recently gone ahead and created WP:WikiProject Freedom of speech. If you're interested, here are some easy things you can do:

  1. List yourself as a participant in the WikiProject, by adding your username here: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Freedom_of_speech#Participants.
  2. Add userbox {{User Freedom of speech}} to your userpage, which lists you as a member of the WikiProject.
  3. Tag relevant talk pages of articles and other relevant pages using {{WikiProject Freedom of speech}}.
  4. Join in discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Freedom of speech.
  5. Notify others you think might be interested in Freedom of speech to join the WikiProject.

Thank you for your interest in Freedom of speech,—Cirt (talk) 23:02, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

3d Printing?[edit]

Implications_of_new_technologies covers some stuff, but freedom of media and communication should apply to the creation of that communication; initially the term freedom of the press applied more to those who owned a press. So how does this apply to 3d printing and what implications does this open up for freedom of the press? BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 12:51, 19 February 2013 (UTC)