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Freedom of Expression

"Happy Young Man". Artist: Naypong/Freedigitalphotos.net. ID: 100201303.

“Happy Young Man”. Artist: Naypong/Freedigitalphotos.net. ID: 100201303.

You get to say the world is flat because we live in a country that guarantees your free speech, but it is not a country that guarantees that everything you say is correct. (Neil Degrasse Tyson)

On World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd 2015, Finland ranks number one in press freedom index for the fifth year in a row. Quite an achievement for a country where the old saying “speech is silver, but silence is gold” is widely practiced. And, where the volume of media content available to the public is in decline due to growing competition, layoffs, and digitalisation fiercely shaping the future of media.

True Alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words. (William H. Gase)

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech as stated in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights allows every human being the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.  

It is not until the freedom is being taken away, or until media is being manipulated in various manners, e.g. through professional PR, covert/overt government propaganda disseminating propaganda as news that freedom of expression and speech turn into a Trojan horse, with the intention to mislead and cause insecurity amongst population.

If you tell the truth you do not have to remember anything. (Mark Twain)

In a world with so many sources of information, and news being created by other individuals, how can one be certain about the truthfulness of the information provided? Is there any ultimate truth, and if there is, how can you know with 100 % certainty that it actually is the ultimate truth?

Definitely, one can, and should be selective in choosing what to read/hear, compare various sources of information, consume media in a critical and selective manner, and analyze the content of the media. And, when producing media individually, utilize the same instruments in the creative process by defining why, how, when, for what purpose, and for whom the media is addressed. Perhaps most importantly of all, whether the media produced involves any risks, and if, what these risks may be?

Although a Universal Human Right, using the freedom of expression and speech is unfortunately a risk in many parts of the world, with journalists, bloggers and writers risking their safety in speaking their truth to power.

More information about freedom of expression and speech @:

Reporters Without Borders:

http://en.rsf.org/

Amnesty International:

amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/censorship-and-free-speech/press-freedom/world-press-freedom-day

Global Issues. Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All. Media Manipulation:

globalissues.org/article/532/media-manipulation

Unesco. Communication and Information:

unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/press-freedom/

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