Old and new barriers of freedom of press

His interpretation made a basis for the concept of freedom of press widely widespread nowadays which is more often associated with a practice of “the western democracies” such as in the USA and the countries of the Western Europe. It’s most important propositions are inadmissibility of censorship, inherence of a mass media institute from a democratic civil society, economic independence, objectivity of information, ethics of professional norms, and pluralism of opinions and mass media availability to all the members of a society.
In modern societies the concept of freedom of press became a synonym of freedom of mass media as a whole, in fact technological progress has considerably changed systems of mass media, having also increased the number of media channels available for an audience, the number of journalists creating media products for an audience, and the volume of mass media context a modern person uses. As a result freedom of press, one of the major social and cultural values of a modern society today means favorable conditions of existence for mass-media in a society and professional execution by journalists of their duties. In reality the situation is far from being ideal. There are a lot of barriers to freedom of speech, freedom of expression of opinion though in each situation they have concrete characters. For some societies economic poverty of mass media enterprises becomes an obstacle for free distribution of information and an exchange of opinions, for others, on the contrary, an economic domination of monopolies of a word becomes an obstacle. In some countries backwardness of political systems, ambition of dominating elites act as obvious barriers to freedom of speech, in others, on the contrary, stability and bureaucracy of democratic systems already have made citizens so tired, that apathy of voters becomes threatening for freedom of mass media. In the societies resisting terrorism, freedom of speech is threatened by terrorists as well as by those combating with them. In the societies aspiring to democracy establishment, economic and social equality, freedom of speech may become not only a means of struggle for better future but it can also provoke any conflicts – from economic and political exposures to direct military actions. In short, both journalists and politicians have to think over real problems of freedom of press. Since various societies realize urgency to protect this major value of a modern society, the World day of freedom of press has been celebrated since1992 at the initiative of journalists of an independent press of African countries supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The purpose of this Day is to draw the attention of the world community, regional and national politicians, legislators and owners of mass-media to creation and realization of freedom of mass-media in a society. According to heads and experts of the UNESCO, freedom of mass media has set of measurements. Politicians’ traditional interpretations that the legislation on freedom of press may be sufficient for realization of principles of mass-media freedom are considered only as a basis of this concept today. The UNESCO Director General Koitiro Matsuura have many times emphasized that, in a modern world freedom of press is determined by a number of conditions:
• Creation of guarantees of pluralism of opinions in a society which is key factor for variety of opinions in mass-media,
• support for the conditions of economic independence of mass media enterprises which means to create a competitive market environment in some cases, and to ensure conditions of existence for noncommercial, socially important mass media in others,
• creation by authority safe enough conditions for work of journalists,
• Journalists and all mass media employees’ keeping with professional standards of journalism.
The attention of the UNESCO to a problem of freedom of press in regions of conflicts and the countries of a transition period is more than proved. The world Day of freedom of press is one of the key actions of the UNESCO, directed on realization of the major task of this organization, which, according to its Charter, is called “to promote free movement of the ideas expressed in a word and image”.


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