Opin vísindi

Social responsibility and the freedom of the press

Social responsibility and the freedom of the press

Title: Social responsibility and the freedom of the press
Author: Meckl, Markus Hermann
Guðmundsson, Birgir   orcid.org/0000-0001-8235-001X
Ólafs, Helga
Proppé, Hulda
Date: 2010
Language: Icelandic
Scope: 7
University/Institute: Háskólinn á Akureyri
School: Hug- og félagsvísindasvið
ISBN: 978-9935-424-02-0
Series: Rannsóknir í félagsvísindum XI; ()
Rannsóknir í félagsvísindum; XI()
Subject: Fjölmiðlar; Tjáningarfrelsi; Social responsibility; Freedom of the press
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2829

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Meckl , M H & Guðmundsson , B 2010 , Social responsibility and the freedom of the press . í H Ólafs & H Proppé (útg.) , Rannsóknir í félagsvísindum XI : Erindi flutt á ráðstefnu í október 2010 . Rannsóknir í félagsvísindum , bind. XI , Háskóli Íslands , bls. 198-204 , Þjóðarspegillinn 2010 , Reykjavík , Ísland , 29/10/10 . < https://skemman.is/bitstream/1946/6843/3/198-204_%20MecklBirgir.athugasemdir.heimildir.pdf >


The freedom of the press is a necessity to ensure public debate, a debate which secures the emergence of truth for the better good of all. The importance attributed to this argument is reflected in European constitutions. Since the French Revolution the freedom of the press has figured prominently in every democratic constitution. The understanding of the concept is important in defining journalism as a profession and its role in a democratic society. The importance for western democracies of a clear conception of what freedom of the press entails has increased in recent decades, as previously socially, culturally and ethnically homogeneous societies have become multicultural. The concept plays a key role in well recorded international cases such as the report of Aftonbladed in Sweden on the Israeli army stealing organs of Palestinian victims and of the Danish Mohamed Cartoons. However, as demonstrated in this paper by an examination of data on Icelandic reporting compiled for the Althingi Investigative Committee, the term also contributes to the understanding of more systemic issues such as why the Icelandic media did not critically report what was going on prior to the collapse of the banks in the fall of 2008.

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