Media

What are the limits on free speech?

Part 2 of 2 Last week, I wrote about the problems of using the law to limit free speech. There is another way to contain discussion within acceptable boundaries, which I will call social pressure. Social pressure is an informal agreement that certain subjects should be outside the range of open conversation. Like the law, social pressure can be abused; but our best hope of maintaining speech...

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What are the limits on free speech?

Part 1 of 2 What, exactly, is free speech, and what limits can we reasonably put on it? Readers of this space know that free speech is a frequent topic here. In past articles, we have looked at the right to put bumper stickers on a car, attempts by officials at the University of London and several U.S. universities to restrict speech (mostly to protect “political correctness”), the evident...

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Freedom of Information laws

Freedom of Information (“sunshine”) laws establish the right of the people and the media to access data held by national, state, or local governments. More than 70 countries have freedom of information laws on their books. In the United States, the federal government and all 50 state (and District of Columbia) governments have such laws. Some states expand the idea to mandate open government...

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Who can we believe?

This item appeared in my Twitter feed today:   38_28_38 3:38pm via Mobile Web (M5) #GOPHypocrisy Says the reality-resistant, delusional dumbass who doesn’t proccess (sic) new/old facts ‘cuz he’s brainwashed by fox? @Smokeybehr 😉 Others have leveled similar (but generally more polite) criticisms of MS-NBC. The about.com Journalism page has an interesting and very objective...

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“Our country’s politics are broken”

These are the opening words of a video by Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. Commenting on the fourth day of the federal government “shutdown,” she is speaking out against the finger pointing that Washington politicians and the media have been engaging in the last few days. The Institute’s resource page,...

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