Today, in the United Kingdom, a simmering debate will boil over. Freedom of the Press will be discussed, argued and belligerently defended from whichever side the proponent stands.
Freedom of the Press is a subject many people have an opinion on, though ultimately most of us care very little about, largely because we have become accustomed to filtering the truth from newspaper editors’ hysterical grandstanding and adept at recognising blatant intrusions into people’s lives, distrusting whatever is broadcast as a result.
Clever people, more often from the media, conjoin Freedom of speech with Freedom of the Press as if they are the same thing. In my opinion they are not and the difference is clear, yet because they are nefariously presented as the same thing there is a significant danger Freedom of speech will be further eroded in the event of Government intervention.
Without doubt, methods employed by the media to get a story must be curtailed but not at the expense of our individual right to free speech. Freedom of the Press and Freedom of speech must be considered as two entirely separate issues.
Freedom of speech allows us to speak freely in our own homes or to discrete audiences anywhere on any subject, declaring any personal opinions we like.
Currently Freedom of the Press allows the media to eavesdrop on those private activities and publish whatever has been said and done to the world at large.
Surely, if an individual wishes everyone to be a party to their private thoughts and opinions the legitimate method for doing so would be to organise an interview with a journalist. To achieve a story by any other means is deceptive and fraudulent.
As it stands, the principal of Freedom of the Press is seriously undermining Freedom of speech.