November 03, 2013

Press Regulation - Prior restraint and self-censorship

The problem with the libel and speech/press-control laws is not necessarily the active litigating against journalists and bloggers but the fear of litigation. A journalist or citizen-blogger may want to pursue a line of inquiry but exercise prior restraint and self-censorship against the self in the fear that they themselves could be pursued for legal damages. The Sunday Times editorial of November 2013 said of this:
"When a reporter drops a particular line of inquiry, or decides not to risk writing about certain establishment figures, press freedom shrinks - and with it what the public is allowed to know." 
The editorial continued: "It is the job of the press to keep the politicians honest. It is not the job if politicians to decide what the press can print."

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