Censorship of the News Media


Censorshipof the News Media


Regulation of themedia through censorship has various objectives. These consisting ofupholding a personal right to privacy, making sure that the mediafunction in accordance to set rules and laws, assigning frequency andguarding principles of decency in the society (Dwyer, 2012). However,every person in the world has the right to freedom. The article 19 ifthe U.N’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 stresses onthe right of opinion and expression. According to the declaration,every person can have an opinion import, listen and receiveideologies regardless of the source. Freedom of speech demands theexercise of this declaration (Dwyer, 2012). Considering mediacensorship in the United States, especially in radio and prime-timeTV, is it necessary or justified? This paper argues that mediacensorship interfere with the independence, diversity, and American’srights.

The concept of newsmedia in the current world is more open to the possibility ofregulation. The legitimacy of the new media is tied to the functionit serves the society. The new media is considered as a public trust.As a public trustee, the new media should be able to function inaccordance to the beneficiaries of the public. Censoring new mediaseverely limits the requirement for freedom. Censorship comprises theability of the new media to represent the public and hold thegovernment accountable. The government should not hinder news mediafrom performing its democratic responsibility.

Censorship andregulative policies limit the independence of the news media (Ellis,2012). The independence of the media allows media to comments ongovernment action without the threat of interference from thegovernment (Dwyer, 2012). The independence of media was attainedduring the struggle for freedom against censorship and licensing(Ellis, 2012). The government might abuse its power intentionally orunintentionally, directly or indirectly. It is the duty of the mediato supervise the activities of the government for the people. Therestriction of independent through censorship is enough to damage thelegitimacy of the news media among the American citizens. The newradio and television should be able to podcast whatever they see fitas long they operated within the relevant ethics and laws (Ellis,2012). If the news media has too much control, it will reduce theeffectiveness of the government, reduce public awareness ofgovernment activities, stack personnel in favor of the government andreduce the potential remedies. The freedom of media to perform itsfunction increase the weight that one cooperation can place on thegovernment.

The functions of themedia as a public trustee triggers the concern of how new mediashould behave (Dwyer, 2012). News media have different publishers,editors, structures and behaviors. The diversity in news media helpsit reduce bias and the likelihood of suppressing some viewpoints,thus delivering the appropriate information to the public. Diversityin new media facilitates its functions as watchdog and news gatheringentity. With censorship and many regulation policies, the public maybe left with news Medias that are unable or unwilling to examinespecific concerns in a fair and an extensive approach (Ellis, 2012).

Media censorship is mostly modeled on a complaint mechanism thatenable people to allege that a new media has breached the relevantstandard. These censorship standards should be based on honesty,accuracy, fairness and are well accepted. Increasing censorshippolicies will limit it the goal of public accountability in rewardingthe media for carrying their democratic duty.


Dwyer, T. (2012). Legal and ethical issues in the media.Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ellis, G. (2012). Journalism`s road codes: The enduring nature ofcommon ethical standards. Pacific Journalism Review, 18(2),118-130.