Censorship – no place for it in a free society. Is this a free society?

In a letter to the editor in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster, a letter writer opines that “Finally, calls from the left for censorship misconstrue and attack the constitutional role of a free press. It is LNP’s job to provide a forum for expression and debate of political viewpoints. These censorship calls are as dangerous as the attacks on the press coming from the White House.”

censorship

Censorship is akin to not being transparent.

Censorship is trying to inhibit the rights of others in a free and democratic society to their exercise their fundamental rights to talk, write, take photographs or, in a peaceful manner, express their opinions.

“Libraries should hold material representing all varieties of expression, without the interference of censors, because that will place readers themselves in the position to form a well-informed judgement on what is good and what is harmful.” –  Fighting Censorship to Promoting Transparency, Paul Sturges, 2007.

4 comments

  1. A couple of years ago, one borough official suggested that I exclude a segment of a story I was writing for LNP. I included it because of the relevance to the topic. This suggestion was an attempt at suppression of not only free speech but of the truth. It also would have been a direct hit toward transparency.

    • Elected public servants never look at it as suppression of truth; their perspective is, it’s either good news or bad news. Or “fake news,” as POTUS claims.

      The nation’s first President said it much better: “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.” – George Washington.

    • There’s a really good line in a column at The Guardian: “Lies masquerading as news are as old as news itself.”

      And there are these lines: “In the past, those with power manipulated facts so as to present lies as truth. Today, lies are often accepted as truth because the very notion of truth is fragmenting. ‘Truth’ often has little more meaning than: ‘This is what I believe’ or: ‘This is what I think should be true.’”

      Here’s a link to the opinion column:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/11/fake-news-long-history-beware-state-involvement

  2. Here’s a case of truth (three people were killed in a helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon – http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-grand-canyon-helicopter-crash-20180210-story.html ) reported

    Yet, there;’s nothing at the company Website nor facebook page about the crash.
    https://www.papillon.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Papillon/

    So, by saying nothing, the accident and the deaths didn’t happen?

    Companies do lots of things to protect their image. Some are ethical and moral, some are not. Private companies can do what they choose; they’re only guided by the laws of the land, their boards of directors and shareholders and the character of the persons at the top.

    Citizens, though, in free democracies, must expect governments, their agencies and not-for-profit entities to be truthful, open and forthright in their communications with citizens. Citizens have to expect these entities to not try to manage the news for any reason.

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