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20 октября 2017
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Написать summary к статье ниже , на 7-12 предложений, уникальность не ниже 50%. Who Cares About a Free Press? UNESCO has proclaimed May 3 World Press Freedom Day. In the American consciousness this is not likely to rank with Mother’s Day, Secretaries’ Day, Pharmacists’ Day or even Kiss-Your-Mate Day, but it deserves some attention at a time when America is more dissatisfied than ever with its own media. The exercise brings to mind a 17th century English pamphleteer named John Twyn who published a defense of revolution. Condemned for treason, he was hanged, cut down while still alive, emasculated, disemboweled, quartered and, presumably to make absolutely sure beheaded. A great many Americans today feel that this is just about the treatment appropriate to their journalists. Elsewhere in the world, they are in fact treated almost that way. In 1994, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 58 members were assassinated and 173 were in prison in 23 countries at the end of the year. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, democracy seemed to be on the march everywhere, together with an independent press. Much of that promise came true, but lately it has receded again. The Russian press, for example, forcefully criticizes the government in ways undreamed of a few years ago. Russian television has made Chechnya a living-room war. As a result there has been a vehement backlash. All camps – bureaucrats, politicians, the military, entrepreneurs, and criminals – seem to have declared open season on the press. Within the past seven months an investigative reporter and a prominent TV personality were assassinated. Reformers believe that the press is the last hope for democracy in Russia. The situation is similar in some of the old Soviet republics and satellites. Both former communists and former dissidents are fighting daily to maintain or re-impose state control of the media. In Tajikistan, beset by civil war, the government suppressed all independent media. In Armenia police habitually raid editorial offices. In Romania journalists are often under surveillance. In Slovakia a proposed law would provide one- to five-year jail sentences for journalists who «demean» the country from abroad. In Poland, the Czech republic and Hungary the situation is better, but everywhere governments exert pressure by controlling paper supplies, distribution facilities and especially broadcast licenses. The battle is not confined to former communist areas. In Turkey, a NATO member, more than 70 journalists were in jail at the end of last year. Despite much progress in Latin America, licensing of journalists and other controls are widespread. Argentina recently threatened to pass a law providing up to 10 years of prison for «dishonoring the name of a politician». Many of the world’s governments have enshrined press freedom in their constitutions but fed free to ignore it. A charter drawn up by the World Press Freedom Committee condemns censorship in all its forms and proclaims freedom of expression as an essential human right. But government resistance to the charter’s principles is tenacious. There is the argument from patriotism: nations, especially when in crisis, cannot tolerate destructive criticism. There is the argument from culture: chaotic Western concepts of freedom cannot be applied to societies based on order and stability. There is the argument from economics: undue press attacks undermine development. There is the argument from idealism: an irresponsible press is apt to spread racial and ethnic hatred. All of these assertions contain elements of truth. It is nearly impossible to export the First Amendment of the American Constitution, for example, to countries without deep roots and habits of freedom. In many parts of the world, journalists lack any tradition of objective reporting. But for the most part the fight against press freedom comes down to politicians protecting themselves and the status quo. That is ultimately untenable in a world of instant communications that cross all frontiers. Arid in a global marketplace the notion that authoritarian rule can be combined with free enterprise – the notion might be called Lee Kuan Yewism, fThe U.S. maintains that countries aspiring to membership in NATO in the European Union or in the wider community of developed nations must respect democracy, free enterprise and human rights. But Washington is notably passive in promoting freedom of the press. Why should Americans care? Because if there is to be a world in which the U.S. can enjoy a measure of security and prosperity, the spread of democracy is essential. And democracy is impossible without a free press. Free and responsible, of course. But responsibility is not likely to be taught by the Twyn treatment or lesser forms of repression. Looking at the rest of the world, American journalists have reason to be grateful that the only real threat they face is angry words. And the American public has reason to be grateful that its press, for all its sins, is still the most professional and responsible in the world. Could that mutual recognition produce a glimmer of detente between press and citizens? According to recent surveys, a majority of Americans believe that the media only get in the way of solving problems. But a majority also believe that the press keeps powerful people from becoming too powerful. Perhaps that thought should be the message of World Press Freedom Day, everywhere, including the U.S. or Singapore’s Godfather – cannot work indefinitely
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21 октября 2017
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