Human rights are rights given to anyone born on to this earth no matter race, religion or sex. Among these, stands the right to freedom of speech. William Hachten, an author of numerous documentaries and articles about freedom of speech and expression, defines our right of speech as “ The right of the press to report, to comment on, and to criticize its own government without retaliation or threat of retaliation from the authority”. This mainly focuses on our right to talk politics, to discuss and debate with fellow citizens on whether officials are doing their job correct.
If officials fail to meet the standards and expectations of the people, we have every right to stand against them for the betterment of this country. That is why freedom of speech was created, to protect what this country was built on, democracy. Freedom of speech has been the running factor of this country, the cog wheel in the clock, without it everything could fall apart. Freedom of press was originally made as a human right for the people to use their voice to preserve democracy, recent corruption in the government and “fake news”, has posed a threat to our natural rights, and should be put in check by the people using their voices.
Fake news is a term, that in the past few years has been assigned to false rumors in the political world. Fake news has been overlooked by many as just rumors and harmless banter, but in reality, it’s hurting our nation’s citizens. Our right to press has proved essential to this country, but some people are using it for their own financial gain and popularity. This is lessening the people’s trust in our news system, if a news channel airs fake news, they won’t be trusted for accurate political events (Oliphant, pg.1).
People don’t realize the importance of our freedom of press, so displaying inaccurate data is damaging our democracy, turning people against each other for something that never happened. Most cases of fake news are coming from foreign sources trying to damage our society. Legal solutions must be put in action, whether it is a more strict process to publish news on the internet or revising news sources material before it’s put on air (Butler, pg.1). Freedom of speech is the key to a self sustaining government, and as a nation we must protect it.
One of the most important advancements in technology was the internet in the 20th century (Dashti, 2011. Pg.1). The internet changed the world by expanding everyone’s limits of expression never thought possible even the year before it was introduced. When it was first made, all there was, were sets of code; ones and zeros filled the screen and required training to read. Now almost 57% of the world’s population rely on the internet for their daily needs. This an age of knowledge, anyone can know anything they want at the touch of their fingertips. This has tremendously affected the amount of information being spread and how rapid it’s being spread. It has emphatically enhanced the right of expression and speech (Dashti, 2011. Pg.1). Online journalism has affected has helped the fundamental purpose
Essential human rights have been the basis of this country’s success for the past 71 years, when the Universal Declaration was widely accepted by countries around the world. Freedom of speech being one of them, has proved to be one of the most important in preserving a self-sustaining democracy. Our news channels information and peoples voices socially and online have kept this country’s leading officials in check. It’s currently happening to the governor of Virginia; he’s being investigated for a racist photo he was in, in highschool. He’s being impeached and that is only because citizens heard of this incident and took action.
Without freedom of speech, the governor and many other officials in the past like, Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal, would’ve evaded their consequences if not for freedom of speech. Also, people’s ability to discuss politics freely helps create separation which can help one side or the other from obtaining too much power and greed. Overall, freedom of speech has formed this country into a global superpower and should be kept that way by any means of protection.
- Butler, Andrea. ‘PROTECTING THE DEMOCRATIC ROLE OF THE PRESS: A LEGAL SOLUTION TO FAKE NEWS.’ Washington University Law Review, vol. 96, no. 2, 2018, p. 419+. AcademicOneFile,http://link.gale.oh.orc.scoolaid.net/apps/doc/A562138675/AONE?u=nysl_ce_wcs&sid=AONE&xid=29cb4f40. Accessed 5 Feb. 2019.
- Dashti, Ali A., and Salah Al-Fadhli. ‘The impact of online journalism on the freedom of the press: a case study of Kuwait.’ International Journal of Instructional Media, vol. 38, no. 1, 2011, p. 47+. Academic OneFile, http://link.gale.oh.orc.scoolaid.net/apps/doc/A273786677/AONE?u=nysl_ce_wcs&sid=AONE&xid=d2bed047. Accessed 5 Feb. 2019.
- Herbert, David L. Freedom of the Press. Greenhaven Press, 2005. Marketing, MiniWatts. “World Internet Users Statistics and 2018 World Population Stats.” Senegal Internet Usage and Telecommunications Reports, 2019, www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm.
- Oliphant, Benjamin. ‘Freedom of the press as a discrete constitutional guarantee.’ McGill Law Journal,Dec.2013,p.310+.AcademicOneFile,http://link.gale.oh.orc.scoolaid.net/apps/doc/A363515234/AONE?u=nysl_ce_wcs&sid=AONE&xid=5e7b27ec. Accessed 5 Feb. 2019.