Declaration on Press Freedom in India and Democracy–Explained!

January 2, 2019 admin 0 Comment

1. Freedom of the press is at the heart of all liberty. Where there is not free exchange of information and thought, no other liberty is secure.

Freedom of the press is one of the pillars of a free society and a means of extending the frontiers of liberty.

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2. In a democracy, a free press has in inalienable right to an adversary role. It should be free to criticise authority at all levels in the general public interest, and to function as a watch-dog over the government’s handling of the problems of the people and the country.

The press should always be responsive to society as a whole, and act as a channel of communication to purvey facts and give fair and considered information on all issues.

A free press should always be conscious of its responsibility to present to the public news without fear or favour or distortion, suppression of censorship.

3. Citizens should be able to publish and read newspapers and journals of their choice. The relationship between the management and the editor should be one of cooperation. Within a newspaper’s broad policy framework, the editor should be left free to function without interference.

4. A free press must enjoy the confidence of its readers. There is need for self-regulation by the press, and this is best achieved by a press council set up by the press representing professional and lay opinion.

5. It is essential to have more than one news agency. News agencies should be competitive and free of government control.

6. A free press can be strangled through economic pressures. For instance, the government has no right to fix advertisement rates for individual newspapers or to use government advertising as a form of patronage or to canalise newsprint supplies through a state monopoly.

7. The flow of information entails not only a free press but also free and competitive radio and television services, which should be regulated by genuinely autonomous agencies.


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