Media freedom?

10 10 2013

PPT was quite surprised when reading a story at The Nation, purported to be one in a series commemorating the 14 October 1973 uprising, which stated:

AFTER THE October 14, 1973 student uprising, journalists successfully campaigned for the abrogation of an anti-press-freedom law.

Forty years have passed since then and all the draconian laws seen as inhibiting press freedoms have been abolished – but is the press really enjoying full freedom?

The story goes on to say a little about the fight to end state control of the media and the rise of business control. Little is said about the continuing state and military ownership, apart from a comment about state control through advertising budgets.

But where is comment about the lese majeste and computer crimes laws?112.jpg

More than any other law, Article 112 is a deadweight on the media, forcing remarkable self-censorship. No journalist wants to go to jail for 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years, so they and their bosses self-censor and censor.

The lese majeste law is also a deadweight on discussion more broadly, whether it is social media, academic debate or private discussions.

Surely any discussion of “draconian laws” must mention the political use of lese majeste and computer crimes or is even discussion of media freedom to be self-censored?



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