How important is censorship

Freedom of the press

Freedom of the press means that the press is free to do its job. The press - these are, for example, journalists who work for television, radio, newspapers or the Internet. The word 'press' comes from the printing press that used to be used to print books and newspapers. Thanks to the freedom of the press, journalists in Germany are allowed to report on all topics that they consider important. You are free to research and obtain information. For example, if a journalist calls an authority such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry has to give him the information.

Article 5 in the Basic Law

The freedom of the press is regulated in Article 5 of the Basic Law. It says: “Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate his or her opinion in words, writing and pictures…. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting through radio and film are guaranteed. There is no censorship. ”Everyone in Germany is therefore free to express their opinion - including journalists. If you do not agree with a decision by politicians, you can say so on television or write in the newspaper, for example. Politicians are not allowed to forbid this and neither should they punish journalists for it. Because that would be 'censorship', and that's forbidden. It is very important that the press in Germany can report independently, because the media have an important function in a democratic country: Its task is to keep an eye on politicians and other important people in Germany. For example, when politicians make a mistake, it is important that journalists report about it, because that's the only way people can find out about it. Because there are so many different TV stations and newspapers in Germany, everyone can get good information and then form their own opinion.

Freedom of the press in the Third Reich

The freedom of the press that we know today has not always been taken for granted in Germany. In the Third Reich it could be very dangerous to express one's opinion. At that time, the National Socialists were in power under Adolf Hitler. Anyone who said something against Hitler in public was punished and arrested. Newspapers and radio stations were only allowed to write and publish what the National Socialists told them to do.

Freedom of the press in other countries

In some countries around the world, journalists are still not allowed to report freely. In China, for example, the state closely monitors the press. Politicians decide what journalists can and cannot report on. They often arrest journalists and send them to jail if they write something the government does not like. In countries where there is no democracy but a dictatorship, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are usually very restricted.

Status: 04/30/2014, 10:23 am