Freedom of speech

Five months ago, the world was flooded with an overwhelming amount of news about the U.S presidential election. At that time, many of us have heard some ubiquitous sentences such as “Trump dislikes the press.” or “It is the media that decides the candidate with more past troubles.”, which explicitly demonstrated the huge power of American press. However, this was not strange at all as freedom of speech is one of the grand pillars of the American school of philosophy and American lifestyle; it thus becomes a major human right that many are fighting for.

Freedom of speech is widely regarded as an inherent right and everyone therefore deserves it. It allows people to legally present their points of view freely by all means without worrying about censorship or punishment. It also means that the citizens have the right to criticize, discuss, praise or propose whatever they concern, aiming at a constructive attitude and a sustainable cooperation with others.

No longer is freedom of speech just a matter of a country; it now penetrates deeply into one’s everyday life. Any opinion towards our working group, our class, our teachers or our school represents the freedom of speech we are enjoying. It gives us courage to voice our thoughts to defend ourselves, and it is a method by which we can contribute to the community. Therefore, it would be a disaster if all of our opinions are governed by regulations and authorities, who often prohibit ideas and neglect the importance of each individual. Certainly, not many people can fully develop in such environment – harsh and unjust.

Looking at the macro levels, operations of newspapers best reflect how free the people can hear and speak. In a country with high level of freedom of speech, newspapers are not administered by governmental bodies and hence operate independently. They have the rights to represent the people’s will; to be more particular, they can vociferously criticize any policy which dissatisfy the crowd. They can be biased, and most of them are so, but different news agencies biased to different groups of people. Many citizens in those countries hence trust the newspapers and do not hesitate to participate in public forums or debates. In retrospect, freedom of speech fosters the role of an individual in any community he or she participates in, and hence it is now highly promoted worldwide as a major symbol of democracy.

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