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Censorship in newspaper for college students
From my point of view, censorship is a term used to refer to the process of reviewing and then choosing to hide or remove some parts of the article considered to be unacceptable. Censorship of things depends on the audience which is being targeted. I have a very strong belief in that newspapers are very important source of information and new ideas on varieties of subjects. For quite long, I have read been reading newspaper articles. I have come to realization that they help me a lot in giving updates on what is going on in different parts of the world. As well, some of the articles written act as entertainment sources. However, some of the information passed through newspapers are harmful according to ethics (Germano & Martin 118). Such information may comprise of pornographic materials, and information on how to manufacture harmful things such as explosives. Increasing concern about ways in which such information is available has contributed in provoking attempts to ensure that newspapers have been censored. This will contribute towards ensuring that access of harmful information through newspapers has been restricted. This piece of writing hence seeks to looks at the reasons as to why censorship of newspaper articles would be important as well as the reasons as to why it is not good to college students.
One of the reasons as to why censorship in newspapers is done is in order to ensure that some of the people such as little children have been prevented from gaining an access to some of the information. Information on sexual matters should only be accessed by adults and hence they are the appropriate targets for such information. Passing pornographic information through newspapers in one way or another affects the morals of young generations especially the teenagers. This is the time when their bodies are undergoing sexual changes (He, Qinglian 25). At this age, people start acquiring feelings of love and sex and hence access to such kind of information should be highly restricted. Censorship of newspapers is however not a permanent solution to the problem of accessing pornographic materials. Currently, internet is available in all parts of the world. Despite the fact that governments in different countries have passed laws restricting the distribution of harmful information, the problem has not been dealt with completely. This is because many college students today have smartphones through which they can access any type of information in the internet. A better solution would be implementing internet filters so as to regulate the groups gaining access to some types of information (Lee & Angel 334).
I think it is very important to reduce some of the violent articles in which issues such as boxing are being presented. Fighting in newspapers is brought by using cartoon pictures. It is not good idea to educate college students that being violent and heartless is good (Germano & Martin 119). This can make them start going along the streets picking off those they met. Others will act violently towards their college colleagues. A message should be communicated to them that fighting other people is illegal. They should as well learn that actions of beating other people will be highly charged. The content written in newspaper articles therefore needs to be censored in order to prevent such information from reaching these students. They should instead be given educative articles or articles teaching them on moral issues (Nyilasy 544).
Censorship is also useful as it prevents some of the advertisements from reaching the wrong targets. Good examples of such advertisements are the ones aiming at drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol. Such contents should be handled with a lot of censorship. A fact is that consumption of alcohol and smoking cigarettes are very harmful in terms of body health (Novek 5). Alcohol causes a liver disease referred to as cirrhosis. On the other hand, cigarette smoking produces nicotine tar and smoke which interferes which the functioning of the lungs resulting into lung disease. They are hence not supposed to be advertised. According to me, doing so is very fair. No alcohol or tobacco producing company would dare to publicize the health problems related to consumption of these products. Their main aim is to make profits from the production of these products (Hays 15). Newspaper censorship on advertisements made by such companies is very justifiable from personal point of view.
At other times, dirty laundry should not be aired to the public. Some people give unfounded and violent comments about a certain race or religion. As well other people take an advantage and send propaganda messages to other via newspaper articles. According to Hays (21), such things should not be totally allowed as they will teach students about bad ways of relating with those they have differences. Even though it seems conflicting with peoples’ freedom of expressing themselves, the best thing to do is ignoring during such incidents. Security of secrets is another interesting argument as to why censorship of newspaper articles is very important. Let’s take for instance the case where a particular group has intentions of attacking your nation. Information about the way the group will be dealt with should not be given out publicly. Publication of such information should not be allowed. The best thing is to ensure the plans of internal armed forces are secretly maintained within the country. Such efforts are not for the benefit of the government but for the good of the general public as well. A good example is in 2008 when Mumbai was attacked by a terror group (Germano & Martin 121). Reporters talked about the counter-terrorism plans the nation had. Some of the terrorists who were in a certain hotel hiding accessed this information this information on television some time before the terrorists could attack. They hence informed their friends who in turn changed the way in which they had planned to conduct this attack. The same case can apply to newspapers. Some of the students in the institution accessing uncensored newspapers might be having links with the terrorists. This especially applies to students from other countries. Newspaper censorship is hence important considering the fact it will help in addressing security issues in the nation.
As argued by Lee & Angel (339), religious beliefs and religion are as well employed as a rationale for newspaper suppression or censorship. Sometimes, it is very important to have information put under control especially in the case where the situation in question relates to religious information and problems distributed wrongly in an environment where there is tension. Such a case might end up in results which are very explosive. Religion however has been used in a wrong way in order to ensure that media has been clamped down. In the case of educational institutions, censorship of newspaper articles is very important. This serves to make sure that information about the institution has not been given out to the public (Hays 24). Information on how the institution is run by the management team should only be availed to teachers and at times people working in that institution. One of the major missions of any institution is to make sure it has the capability of effectively competing with others. Information on the strategies used to gain competitiveness should not be availed to the main competitors. Making information public in addition exposes some of the problems affecting an institution. Some of the issues should be dealt with by the members and hence public should not be allowed to know. In such a case, students are the major leaking information. They hence should be restricted from accessing it. Students on their own do not have the capability of determining what is right or wrong for them. Making some of the things appear as if they are illegal is the best way to make them avoid them (Germano & Martin 124). The minds of students undergo development day in day out. The content they are fed with through the media should hence be checked to make sure it is right.
Despite the benefits it comes along with, some of the people have not yet been totally convinced that censorship is good. To some extent, it limits people’s freedoms of expressing their ideas about a particular issue. For a democratic government, I strongly believe that freedom of speech is very essential. This is due to the fact that truth can only come out if people are competing in terms of ideas. Censorship however can be applied in the case where people start giving offensive opinions. Liberty in this case implies telling people what they might not be wishing to hear. It hence comes along with revealing issues which have been kept behind bars for quite long (He, Qinglian 19). Censorship of newspapers in some cases is employed by government officials in order to prevent the revealing of information attacking or affecting them. This might be a crime in which they physically got involved in or participated in one way or another. Common crimes in this case include corruption and murder.
Tolerance theory is a very strong ground through which freedom of movement can be supported. It argues that the ability of teaching as well as promoting tolerance is among the vital assets in looking at the issue of freedom of speech. Considering this point of view, freedom of speech does not involve any intolerance no matter the form since it sometimes comes out in a threatening manner. Good examples in this case are racial intolerance and religious intolerance (Novek 13). This theory of tolerance gives an implication of self-restraint, the only appropriate way of responding to issues even though we many hate or dislike them on personal basis. It gives a wider context of practicing tolerance in a democratic society which is conflict-ridden. Let’s for instance look at the case where a foreign newspaper article gives information attacking the government of the country you are in. The body governing will be having no power to control the writing of such articles. The only thing it can do is to prevent such articles from getting into the country. Censorship in a country is hence used to protect the government.
Despite the fact that I have claimed that censorship is good in order to control taboo topics such as sex, but them being taboo topics does mean that they should only be availed to the adults. Looking at the current heath data, sex related diseases (HIV/AIDS to be specific) are spreading at very high rates. Given the idea that HIV/AIDS does not have cure, the best way to do away with it is through prevention. Censorship on newspaper articles addressing such matters thus means that college students will not be able to access some sex education materials. As well, awareness on such topics will not be created. Most of them may end up in situations where they have been infected (Novek 17). Even though censorship of sexual newspaper contents is important, bodies involved should ensure that important information on such matters has been delivered. Debate on this matter should only look at what to be shown as well as the one not to be shown.
Taking legislation into consideration, the Supreme Court has put down restrictions beyond which freedom of expressing ideas cannot be exceeded. Failure to adhere to such rules results into a legal action being taken. They give a definition of several categories of speech in which the first amendment has not provided full protection. These groups include defamation, obscenity and fraudulent misrepresentation, and support of imminent unlawful conduct. If the content passed on through newspapers does not fall in any of the above categories, there are no basis for the government to argue supporting its restriction (Nyilasy 542).
One of the reasons made on censorship of information passed through newspaper articles is the idea that freedom of expressing ideas if not controlled can make people participate in illegal actions. The Supreme Court has hence laid down rules clarifying on which content requires restriction and the one which does not stand to be censored. Before a speech is identified as one contributing towards incitation, three criterions have to be first met. To start with, the content in it has to be directly aimed at inciting a lawless action (Novek 20). Second, it must give an implication of imminent law breaking, and not a call for an unlawful action in undefined time in the future. Lastly, the content must have a very strong intention of producing such conduct.
According to Nyilasy (540), the test of “clear and present danger” is used to determine the extent to which a particular content written causes threat. The actual evil prevented by the government however does not outweigh the effect brought about by the free speech outlawing. Freedom of expressing may only be subjected to trial when the danger imposed becomes visible. For safety and wellbeing, safety of speech has been imposed not because of the content it contains but as a result of the audience, place, time, as well as manner in which the content is passed. On the idea of content-neutral regulation, a lot of controversial have resulted from it (He, Qinglian 25). This regulation of content-neutral need very keen distinction and hence people may misinterpret it at times. There is a growing concern that this type of regulation may lead to the weakening of the right of people’s participation, especially if too many restrictions on expression of ideas have been put.
As illustrated above, censorship of newspaper contents in the case of students comes along with advantages. Also, by looking at today’s issues surrounding right of First Amendment to free expression in the United States it is very evident that putting restrictions on the freedom of expression ideas comes along with a several related problems. Censorship on newspaper contents plays key roles in the democracy of a certain state. The benefits of newspaper censoring however outweigh the cons. I hence strongly support the idea that newspapers should be censored.
Germano, Fabrizio, and Martin Meier. “Concentration and self-censorship in commercial media.” Journal of Public Economics 97 (2013): 117-130.
Hays, J. “Chinese newspaper and magazines and their battle against corruption and censorship.” URL: http://facts anddetails. com/china. php (2008).
He, Qinglian. The fog of censorship: Media control in China. Human Rights in China, 2008.
Lee, Francis LF, and Angel MY Lin. “Newspaper editorial discourse and the politics of self-censorship in Hong Kong.” Discourse & Society 17.3 (2006): 331-358.
Novek, Eleanor. “‘The devil’s bargain’Censorship, identity and the promise of empowerment in a prison newspaper.” Journalism 6.1 (2005): 5-23.
Nyilasy, Gergely, and Leonard N. Reid. “Advertiser pressure and the personal ethical norms of newspaper editors and ad directors.” Journal of Advertising Research 51.3 (2011): 538-551.
Censorship in Newspaper for College Students. (2022, Feb 27). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/censorship-in-newspaper-for-college-students
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