Is the term ‘Free Press’ a Reality in modern times?
When we normally hear the term “free press” we immediately think of the Western countries with democratic authority. Today we hear the term ‘fake news’ a lot. In-fact it has been popularized by a President of a country who uses this term so loosely that every news agency that criticizes him or his action is termed as fake news or fake news agency by him. It has become a staple in his speech so much so that it will not be shocking if this term is soon used in his official government communications. First lets go through some definitions of free press,
- Dictionary.com :
A body of book publishers, news media, etc., not controlled or restricted by government censorship in political or ideological matters.
- Cambridge Dictionary :
If a country has a free press, its newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations are able to express any opinions they want. Even if these criticize the government and other organizations.
- Study.com defines Freedom of Press as :
Freedom of the press is the right to circulate opinions in print without censorship by the government. Americans enjoy freedom of the press under the First Amendment to the Constitution, which states: ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.’
Thomas Jefferson once famously announced that, “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
So now we know how the world defines ‘Free Press’.
What is Fake News?
Wikipedia defines fake news as:
Cambridge Dictionary states fake news as:
Now we also know what is fake news and function of fake news.
Can the free press be the source of fake news?
You must have often heard of the terms “Russian Propaganda” and the “Communist Propaganda”. That is if You are from one of the European or North American countries.
These terms have been seeded into your brains and have been defined and justified by the western media.
You must wonder, how come the moment any country tries to defend itself from the pressure tactics. And bullying from western countries. You start hearing about how the Government of that country is spreading propaganda against the western democratic governments. Often when a country is governed by people the westerners are not confident in. The western media demonizes that government. And the country due to that government is a threat world peace.
The reality is far from the truth.
Well… if you go to the country being demonized by the western media, you will realize how the Western media is the prime example of a Propagating fake news and hatred towards any institution that defies the authority of the western countries.
To give you a context of what I am saying lets follow the example of what happened in the World War II, the cold war, Iraq war and the Syrian War.
America and United Kingdoms are the only True Heroes.
After the world war II, we saw how the role of Russia in enabling the fall of Nazi Germany was downplayed by the western media and in-fact the utter destruction and killing of civilians at the hands of United States and United Kingdom being virtually erased with the help of war-time western propaganda.
During the cold war, despite of the fact that the United States was literally bullying every other country in middle east for Oil and the European countries for technology. And to do so USA had been setting up military and nuclear bases in the Pacific and in Europe. But the moment Russia tries to set up a base near United State. The Western media starts to blame Russia for aggravating the situation and creating war type environment.
The War In Iraq
United States, to fulfill its goal of stealing oil from the middle eastern countries. It has illegally invaded Iraq. Under the pretense of disarming the nuclear sites in Iraq. And freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam. During these illegal invasion, the Western Media started its propaganda. Being in its full swing to ensure that United States and its allies do not face any flack over it.
Invasion of Iraq was the first piece of the domino effect that has led to what today is a destabilized middle east and death of millions of civilians and soldiers.
Al Qaeda, the blood child of the United States.
Even when the fact is that United States armed and gave birth to Al-Qaeda during illegal Russian occupation of Afghanistan. the Western media has not hesitated in distancing the western countries from these facts.
The Syrian Bombings.
We all know that Syria has been bombed by both the United States, UK and its allies. But all the Western media kept showing was the bombing by the Russian Military. When Russian military bombs the militants, the western media calls it murder of the civilians. And when the United States and its allies bomb the militants. Often like the Russians end up killing the civilians the western media calls it ‘Collateral Damage.’
So whom should we trust for news?
Not all is lost when it comes to the news. The above examples were just to prove how mainstream media, “Free Press”, even in a Democratic country is controlled by its rich owners and the government. The state of media in Russia and China is far more worse. In-fact in China every piece of media is controlled, manipulated and distorted by its government. At-least in comparison there are several media outlets in Europe that try their best to stick to the facts.
Verifying and confirming the news.
It is our duty to verify and confirm whether the news we are getting is true or no. Ensuring whether the news we receive is being told from every perspective is our duty too.
Acting up-on the one sided news can be harmful to your understanding of the world.
The Free Press?
Calling the current institutions of media the free press in any country will be irresponsible.
Myth or Busted
I’d say that the free press, i.e. news outlets today are being swayed by the politics and the mood of the country. Instead of being free of all the binding nature of a country’s emotions, political and global diplomatic stance. Today’s main stream media horribly fails at showcasing the position and perspective of both the favored and opposed point of view.
To conclude, with a heavy heart, I confirm that the Free Press is just an urban myth. Although there are many flag bearers who are trying to portray the facts and stories from all the perspective. Be it via a documentary or a blog. They are shouting at the face of the main stream media. No matter what you can not suppress the truth.