Friday, March 17, 2006

Stifling press freedom means stifling democracy

“Sure, every journalist must live and work each day with the risk of drawing a case for libel or invasion of privacy, or contempt. All trained journalists spend some time learning the distinction between libelous and libel-proof writing.

“But sedition and other serious political crimes is something else. When the State through its various instrumentalities – the Palace, the NTC, the AFP or the PNP – uses its powers to threaten with sanctions media practitioners, or when the PNP raids a newspaper at dawn and then claims there was no takeover; or when broadcast stations are repeatedly reminded about ‘guidelines,’ that is dancing on the perilous edge between freedom and censorship. The net effect cannot be but to curb freedom of the press and stifle all the other values that democracy draws from it.”

- BusinessMirror editorial, March 17-18, 2006, p. A10

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