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Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. It is often regarded as an integral concept in modern liberal democracies. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law through numerous human rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, although implementation remains lacking in many countries. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country, although the degree of freedom varies greatly. Industrialized countries also have varying approaches to balance freedom with order. For instance, the United States First Amendment theoretically grants absolute freedom, placing the burden upon the state to demonstrate when (if) a limitation of this freedom is necessary. In almost all liberal democracies, it is generally recognized that restrictions should be the exception and free expression the rule; nevertheless, compliance with this principle is often lacking
Theories of free speech The most important justification for free speech is a general liberal or libertarian presumption against coercing individuals from living how they please and doing what they want. However, a number of more specific justifications are commonly proposed.
For example, Justice McLachlan of the Canadian Supreme Court identified the following in R. v.
Keegstra, a 1990 case on hate speech:
1. Free speech promotes "The free flow of ideas essential to political democracy and democratic institutions" and limits the ability of the state to subvert other rights and freedoms
2. It promotes a marketplace of ideas, which includes, but is not limited to, the search for truth
3. It is intrinsically valuable as part of the self-actualization of speakers and listeners
4. It is justified by the dangers for good government of allowing its suppression. Such reasons perhaps overlap. Together, they provide a widely accepted rationale for the recognition of freedom of speech as a basic civil liberty.
Each of these justifications can be elaborated in a variety of ways and some may need to be qualified. The first and fourth can be bracketed together as democratic justifications, or a justification relating to selfgovernance.
They relate to aspects of free speech's political role in a democratic society. The second is related to the discovery of truth. The third relates most closely to general libertarian values but stresses the particular importance of language, symbolism and representation for our lives and autonomy.
This analysis suggests a number of conclusions. First, there are powerful overlapping arguments for free speech as a basic political principle in any liberal democracy. Second, however, free speech is not a simple and absolute concept but a liberty that is justified by even deeper values. Third, the values implicit in the various justifications for free speech may not apply equally strongly to all kinds of speech in all circumstances.
Freedom of speech is crucial in any democracy, because open discussions of candidates are essential for voters to make informed decisions during elections. It is through speech that people can influence their government's choice of policies. Also, public officials are held accountable through criticisms that can pave the way for their replacement. The US Supreme Court has spoken of the ability to criticize government and government officials as "the central meaning of the First Amendment." New York Times
v. Sullivan. But "guarantees for speech and press are not the preserve of political expression or comment upon public affairs, essential as those are to healthy government." Time, Inc. v. Hill. Some suggest that when citizens refrain from voicing their discontent because they fear retribution, the government can no longer be responsive to them, thus it is less accountable for its actions. Defenders of free speech often allege that this is the main reason why governments suppress free speech – to avoid accountability.

However, it may be argued that some restrictions on freedom of speech may be compatible with democracy or even necessary to protect it. For example, such arguments are used to justify restrictions on the support of Nazi ideas in post-war.
Discovering truth
A classic argument for protecting freedom of speech as a fundamental right is that it is essential for the discovery of truth. This argument is particularly associated with the British philosopher John Stuart Mill.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get it accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out." In Abrams v. United States Justice Holmes also invoked the powerful metaphor of the "marketplace of ideas." This marketplace of ideas rationale for freedom of speech has been criticized by scholars on the grounds that it is wrong to assume all ideas will enter the marketplace of ideas, and even if they do, some ideas may drown out others merely because they enjoy dissemination through superior resources.
The marketplace is also criticized for its assumption that truth will necessarily triumph over falsehood. It is visible throughout history that people may be swayed by emotion rather than reason, and even if truth
ultimately prevails, enormous harm can occur during the interim. However, even if these weaknesses of the marketplace of ideas are acknowledged, supporters argue that the alternative of government determination of truth and censorship of falsehoods is worse.
Alan Haworth in his book Free Speech (1998) has suggested that the metaphor of a marketplace of ideas is misleading. He argues that Mill's classic defence of free speech, in On Liberty, does not develop the idea of a market (as later suggested by Holmes) but essentially argues for the freedom to develop and discuss ideas in the search for truth or understanding. In developing this argument, Haworth says Mill pictured society not as a marketplace of ideas, but as something more like a large-scale academic seminar.
This implies the need for tacit standards of conduct and interaction, including some degree of mutual respect. That may well limit the kinds of speech that are justifiably protected.
Another way of putting this point is to concede Mill's claim that freedom of speech of certain kinds is needed for rational inquiry. This can support the claimed need to protect potentially unpopular ideas.
However, it can then be added that this does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that a wide range of speech, including offensive or insulting speech, must be given the same protection. As put by Mill, the argument can also be seen as somewhat elitist, since it may seem that relatively little speech or expression appeals primarily to the intellect. However, there are senses in which this justification can be extended beyond the speech of individuals who are involved in narrowly intellectual inquiry, such as scientists and academic scholars. In one sense, it merges with justifications based on autonomy; if it is interpreted as relating to the psychological need felt by individuals to pursue truth and understanding. In another sense, it may be extended to the protection of literature and art that has a claim to some kind of social value.
Promoting tolerance
Still another explanation is that freedom of speech is integral to tolerance, which some people feel should be a basic value in society. Professor Lee Bollinger is an advocate of this view and argues that "the free speech principle involves a special act of carving out one area of social interaction for extraordinary selfrestraint, the purpose of which is to develop and demonstrate a social capacity to control feelings evoked by a host of social encounters." The free speech principle is left with the concern of nothing less than helping to shape "the intellectual character of the society".
This claim is to say that tolerance is a desirable, if not essential, value, and that protecting unpopular
speech is itself an act of tolerance. Such tolerance serves as a model that encourages more tolerance throughout society. Critics argue that society need not be tolerant of the intolerance of others, such as those who advocate great harm, such as genocide. Preventing such harms is claimed to be much more important than being tolerant of those who argue for them.

Restrictions on free speech

Ever since the first consideration of the idea of 'free speech' it has been argued that the right to free speech is subject to restrictions and exceptions. A well-known example is typified by the statement that free.
speech does not allow falsely "shouting fire in a crowded theatre" (Schenck v. United States ) other limiting doctrines, including those of libel and obscenity, can also restrict freedom of speech.Various governing, controlling, or otherwise powerful bodies in many places around the world have attempted to change the opinion of the public or others by taking action that allegedly disadvantages one side of the argument. This attempt to assert some form of control through control of discourse has a long
history and has been theorized extensively by philosophers like Michel Foucault. Many consider these attempts at controlling debate to be attacks on free speech, even if no direct government censorship of ideas is involved.

Freedom of Press

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. Not all countries are protected by a bill of rights or the constitutional provision pertaining to
Freedom of the Press.
With respect to governmental information, a government distinguishes which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public based on classification of information as sensitive, classified or secret and being otherwise protected from disclosure due to relevance of the information to protecting the national interest. Many governments are also subject to sunshine laws or freedom of information legislation that are used to define the ambit of national interest.
In developed countries, freedom of the press implies that all people should have the right to express themselves in writing or in any other way of expression of personal opinion or creativity.
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