A vital test for our democracy

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THE issue of how the Press in this country is regulated can often seem a matter of importance only to those in the media. Yet such a view ignores the fact that freedom of speech is the bedrock of any democracy, which makes it vital that any move to muzzle the Press, intentionally or otherwise, is resisted at all costs.

If laws which placed restrictions on our newspapers were to be introduced, it would raise serious concerns about the potential for politicians and lawmakers to exert a greater influence over what appears in print – with far-reaching implications for this country’s tradition of safeguarding freedom of speech and the importance of holding those in authority to account.

There is no question that certain sections of the media have been guilty of some abhorrent practices in their desperate attempts to scoop their rivals – methods which have rightly resulted in criminal charges being brought but which have also unfairly tainted the reputation of the Press in general.

 

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