Aren’t they going too far with the Media Freedom ?
Posted on September 3rd, 2009

By Charles.S.Perera

Freedom has to be exercised with caution.  Just because one is allowed to use one’s freedom, it should not be utilised for the detriment, or cause harm to another.  Freedom could lead to allsorts of abuses. It would be like giving a torch to a monkey. It could set  a whole forest on fire.  It is the same with the freedom of  the media.

 But the media which has set up its own Federation, makes it jump to uphold the right of the media at the mere  drop of a “pin”. They do not take time  even to investigate whether they are  defending a just cause.  In Sri Lanka it has become a bit of a joke to see the federation of the Press make a vociferous entry in to the scene  blowing all their “bugles” the moment a media man is involved in what ever matter, without considering whether the cause deserves its  support.

 As much as a Government may be considered over reaching its power to suppress  the activities of the media, the media could also be accused for  abusing the freedom allowed to it. Freedom is a sword that  cuts both ways, and there for the media cannot always claim “immunity” under  freedom of the media in a democratic system.  It is not the media that sets up the rules, and dictates to governments. It is a government that sets up rules, and demands the media to uphold the  rules of law.

 During the World War I many Americans of German Origin were imprisoned. One man was even  hanged for being of German descent,  and the killers were found not guilty as it was considered an act of patriotism. What Christian Justice ? In Europe  news concerning the war was subjected to strict censure.  Then neither  a human rights watch in the former case, nor a Federation of the Press in the second, could have intervened to demand the governments to release the detainees, nor to  withdraw the censures.  

 Sri Lanka is a very smart developing Sovereign State,  which foiled the attempt of a ruthless terrorist group to divide the country to set up a Homeland.   The terrorism has been eliminated but the “goons” who lived on terrorism are still at large.   Therefore the  government has to take all precautions to avoid  a possible  re-ignition of  the past terror. 

 Therefore, an International Federation of the Press, if lead by responsible, intelligent leadership, should not burn its fingers by supporting what it should not support.  To do so would be immoral, as a  secure and a protective governance  avoiding  danger to its citizen is the primary responsibility of a Government.  If the government were to take into custody a wrong doer, and its courts of law passes judgement, it  has to be respected by any Federation  worthy of its name.

 Some Media Institutions  of Sri Lanka is  the worst for the abuse of the press freedom.  But the International Community  with its favourable attitude towards the Sri Lanka terrorists, have ever since the Government of Sri Lanka eliminated  terrorism killing all the terrorists, have taken cudgels against the Government.

 And now their agents the  Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, UNHuman Rights Commission, and the International Federation of the Press etc. make a habit of  popping  up,  to make accusations against the government, when ever the government of Sri Lanka takes any action to punish those  who supported the  terrorists, or  take precautionary measures  to prevent any possible  repetition of those past events.

 Utter abuse of media freedom is seen in the British  Channel 4 TV.  It is a shame that the Government of  UK with its well known English Justice and Fair play, do not warn the  miscreants to stop this misuse of the media freedom.  This most objectionably dastard acts of  Channel 4 are understandable as England is not what it was, with people like Milliband, who was trying his best  not to leave any stone upturned in his effort to save the terrorist leaders during the last phase of the military operations against terrorists, warming the Chair of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

 Channel 4 well known for its fabrication of false news items, still smarting from the unceremonious packing away from Sri Lanka, has decided to go far to discredit the government.  It was on another false story  that Channel 4 was trying to concoct to discredit the Government, by accusing the Army Soldiers  for rape, and murder. Having failed to make an impact on that, they  “doctored” photos this time.

 If these are considered  Freedom of the Media, which the International Federation of the Press has come forward to defend, woe be to democracy, and woe be to the Christian  civilization  the West so tenaciously uphold.

One Response to “Aren’t they going too far with the Media Freedom ?”

  1. cassandra Says:

    CP Scott, a celebrated editor of the Guardian (then the Manchester Guardian), set out almost as the motto of that newspaper, the line ‘comment is free, but facts are sacred’. And this line has come to be acknowledged as expressing the defining values for the press and media in general. But noble as the sentiments expressed are, the manner in which the media have lived up to them has been less impressive.

    The media are not slow to comment freely but do they always treat the facts as sacred? Or is the truth often ignored, misrepresented or presented with a particular ‘spin’? Are falsehoods sometimes presented as truth? And are things presented as being true without verification? In law, those who act recklessly are just as liable for the consequences of their actions as those who deliberately set out to deceive. So it is that if the media presents as being true, something that has not been properly verified, it has a case to answer.

    A free media are part of a healthy democracy and a free society. And the media have a vital role to play in a free society – among others, to seek the truth and publish it. But this freedom is not some carte blanche for the media to act in whatever way it wishes. The media must act responsibly.

    Sadly, the record of the media has not been exemplary. Small wonder that many people look on what the media presents with much reservation and do not hold journalists in high regard as far as integrity is concerned. In Australia, for instance, in annual surveys carried out to ascertain the public’s perception of various occupations, for honesty and integrity, journalists have been consistently ranked very poorly.

    But the media today is very powerful and therein lies it potential for abuse. Internationally, we find just a few players like Rupert Murdoch and CNN having a veritable monopoly of what is published in print and over TV and other media. They need to use that influence properly and be always aware that the freedom of the media is not absolute but must always serve the common good.

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