Freedom of the press: a right with no limits?
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How can we bind journalists to certain ethical duties in the light of press freedom and freedom of expression? Can any attempts to limit journalists’ freedom be justified? If so, how? Many times the right to press freedom and the right to freedom of expression are referred to as being two sides of the same coin. A philosopher who can be seen as a great defender of these rights, John Stuart Mill, seems to justify these rights on the same grounds. But in this thesis I will argue that, in following Onora O’Neill’s work, it is mistaken to regard these freedoms as being practically the same. Both freedoms call for a different justification and different limits. If we fail to do this, we will harm our social and cultural life and endanger democracy. O’Neill, therefore, argues for three duties for the press to prevent harm to society and to care for democracy. I think O’Neill is right in claiming this as these duties are necessary to protect these domains, but I will continue this thesis by arguing that these duties are not sufficient. I end this thesis by defending one more duty which I derived from the work of Margaret Kohn.
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