Essay Sample: Freedom of Press Gone Too Far?

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Wesleyan University
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Current world orders describe democracy as the will of the people by the people. It allows for a variety of human rights among which is the freedom of expression. Freedom of the press, as well as that to religion, goes hand in hand with the freedom of expression and speech. Freedom of the press, however, doesnt take into consideration the importance of confidentiality and government. Most countries, especially in the third world countries, have their freedom minimized to avoid any conflicts with their government and other important figures in public. In the more developed countries, however, most people believe that the press has taken its freedom too far. The question remains has the media been granted too much freedom?

The liberty to take action, vocalize and even think without foreign influence or hindrances. Intentional misleading of the masses is, however, wrong morally. In this current age, however, these misleading occurrences are common and seem to be the norm making it a significant issue with particular regards to the freedom of the press.

To begin with, media has taken the thirst of finding valuable information for entertainment to another level. With a current rise in the instances of phone, emails and other social media platforms hackings being reported. The media personnel is usually the culprits behind the hacks in an attempt to find information (House, 2014). The hacks were directed towards celebrities, politicians and other persons of influence such as prominent businessmen. All this headed towards the pursuit of gossip per say. A violation of the right to privacy and exposing what is considered personal for the entire universe to be part of. This then Results into distress and damage to the victims life as they destroy it with neither mercy nor empathy. For example, a prominent couple going through a divorce having their lives being the topic of discussion by the public would cause more damage to the family than any good. A clear line between what is private and public should, therefore, be drawn. With laws being put in place and harsh penalties for cases when there has been a violation of ones privacy.

Moreover, the media goes to extreme lengths of breaking the law for information. There have been instances where media personnel has been accused of bribery of police officers and other public officers to get inside information (Oji, 2017). The media as the police of the society should retain its integrity and rethink on what extents they would go for mere stories which they present as their version of the truth. They also go to degrees of putting themselves in harms way for the story. The press should thus reassess themselves and remember to put their integrity intact in the pursuit of a story.

In addition to that, in the pursuit of information, the media personnel have forgotten what being humane is all about. They focus on the story being covered and dont consider that a person may lose their lives in the process or even get hurt. One may argue that by exposing the problem then a solution will eventually be found but what about situations like accidents? Where saving a life is more important than the story? A good example is an accident that claimed the life of Princess Diana. She was trying to get away from paparazzi who on arrival at the accident scene took their time to get photographs forgetting human life was at stake. As much as alcohol was to blame no one is looking at the media as a contributing factor on so many levels. The press should thus reevaluate on what they consider as essential and remember that at all times human life is more valuable than a mere story.

While the work of the press is a mirror to the society, they are not keen in how they present the information that influences the publics opinion of a person. The angle they show the information is essential in the public eye. For example, it will display the crime committed and the person who committed it to the public and leave out the part where they have been apprehended for the crimes they have committed. So if the media portrays one as a criminal without saying they have paid for their crimes the public will always look at them as criminals. The press should, therefore, strive to give the whole story without withholding any information just for the mere reason of having a better story hence a better viewing.

In conclusion, as much as the media has its good it also has its negative side which is to be blamed on the extent of freedom it has been granted, or rather the misuse of freedom of the press. It has exploited this by invading peoples privacy, disregarding the law, disregarding the importance of human life and focusing on half-truths. These are clear indications of the extent to which the media misuses their freedom, and thus a watchdog to the press is necessary regarding national and company laws to put them in check otherwise they will remain an enemy of the people by going too far.

Works Cited

House, Freedom. "Freedom of Press 2014. Media Freedom Hits Decade Low." Freedom House. Washington DC (USA) (2014).

Oji, Majority. "COMPARATIVE MEDIA SYSTEMS A GLOBAL VIEW OF PRESS FREEDOM." International Journal of Communication 6.1 (2017).


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