The Libertarian Theory of the Mass Media.

Topics: United States, Privacy, Government Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: April 5, 2013
Libertarian philosophy guaranty freedom of media organizations as well as freedom of personnel in the task of informing and educating the public, this theory takes the philosophical view that man is rational and able to discern between truth and falsehood: therefore can choose between a better and worse alternative; having been exposed to a press operating as a ‘free market place’ of ideas and information, they (the people) will help determine public policy. A libertarian press is the opposite of an authoritarian press. This theory emerged around the 17th century through the United States of America’s first amendment which protected the press from any law abridging its operation. Rooted in this theory is the belief held by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United states, that, if man exercised reason, the majority, as a group would make sound decisions, even if individual citizens might not "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them." This theory also states that people with opposing viewpoints will be heard: that the media would not cave into outside pressures, such as from government. The theory abhors any form of government ownership or control of the press. The libertarian press has the right to publish anything, anyhow and anywhere. This however does not mean that there is no law for the press, the laws of sedition, slander and libel still applies to them. This theory helps the people keep an eye on the government, thus making corruption and abuse of office minimal or nonexistent. Nevertheless, this theory is complicated, as it contains some inconsistencies; the difficulty of balancing the public interest and broadcasters freedom is at the heart of the debate in this aspect. The people’s right of privacy and the nation’s...

References: 1. Reporter’s handbook: Andrew Moemeka
2. Introduction to Mass Communication: Stanly Baran
3. Solomon G. Aneato, Olufemi S. Onabajo, James B. Osifeso: Models and theories of communication.
5. communication theories
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