An unpopular press is all too easy to censor: and not just by Erdoğan

An unpopular press is all too easy to censor: and not just by Erdoğan
By Peter Preston

A depressing survey finds that 51% of respondents couldn’t name one benefit of press freedom. If so, how many would care if it disappeared?

Think freedom of the press, then stand and salute. It’s the anthem of America’s first amendment, the principle that fires journalists’ organisations everywhere. But wait: for the closer you get to home, the more your knees creak. Frankly, my dear, not so many of you seem to give a damn.

The figures underscoring the point come from that doleful Britain Thinks survey commissioned by Impress this summer. More than 2,000 people, plus a couple of focus groups, were asked to nominate the basic benefits that flow to society from a free press. Some 51% couldn’t think of one. 29% spoke of raised awareness. News and world news collected 17% and 7% respectively. But the battle-hymn of press freedom – exposing corruption – managed a mere 6%, and “holding government to account” scored just 4%.

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August 7, 2016 at 06:59AM
via US news | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2aRyssL

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