Human rights and their social roots represent one of the eternal problems of historical, social and cultural development of humanity that has always been in the center of political attention. Inequality of rights has always been a reason for social unrest and even wars. The problem of human rights is closely related to the issue of freedom of the press. Freedom of the press in its turn means a right to share information by any legal means. Furthermore, it suggests that it is prohibited to make someone share some kind of valuable information against his/her will. However, freedom of the press has long become a serious problem affecting the functioning of society in different countries of the world. There are several reasons for this situation.
There is no doubt that the independence of mass media from an ideological control of the state and the regulation of mass media are of great importance. However, the relationships between mass media and citizens should also be strictly regulated and interpreted in a right way. Unlike freedom of speech, freedom of the press is directly related to the mass media workers, such as journalists and public figures. It needs to be noted that everything related to the freedom of the press is often distorted and interpreted wrongfully. Freedom of the press is associated with a number of threats and negative outcomes that are caused by several factors as will be discussed below.
First, many countries have proclaimed democracy, but do not show any desire to follow democratic norms and rules in the sphere of mass media. This leads to negative outcomes in the form of distortion of information for one’s own selfish purposes among others. Second, the freedom of the press is often used irresponsibly by journalists and other mass media workers. Third, freedom of the press often causes instability within the country leading to the violation of human rights. These are negative sides of freedom of the press, but they are not restricted to the above factors.
In this regard, it should be mentioned that censure is basically absent in the practice of all kinds of mass media, except corporate censure and some others. In other respects, mass media has all rights to distribute any kind of information, although it is associated with a number of negative consequences as stated above. Freedom of the press differs depending on the type of mass media. It is often restricted in overpopulated countries where the political interests are placed above the interests of the citizens.
On the other hand, it should be noted that freedom of the press is associated with a number of positive aspects. Thus, owing freedom of the press, mass media workers have all rights to distribute any information they want. Such freedom helps to share truthful information with the common citizens. It also gives an opportunity to cater for the social and political interests of citizens. It also helps citizens themselves to express their opinion on this or that matter. However, all these benefits are diminished by one of the negative consequences of freedom of the press, which is information war.
In fact, freedom of the press is directly related to information wars widely spread across the world. An information war means that a country distorts the information delivered to the citizens in order to protect its own interests. This greatly depends on the political situation in the country, so that information wars are often used by politicians who use mass media to distort the information shared with citizens in order to ensure social stability within the country. This means that freedom of the press is not always used for the benefit of the citizens, but is often associated with distortion of the shared information for the sake of achieving a desirable effect.