“The Risks and Responsibilities of Free Speech” Part 5

For our final discussion, let us retreat back to the original topic: “The Risks and Responsibilities of Free Speech.” Sure, there are many responsibilities associated with providing accurate, wholesome news that has a wide range of constant readership. But what about the first part of the topic? What are the risks of free speech? One could define a risk as “a situation involving exposure to danger,” but how does that apply to the press and free speech? As a journalism major, I have a few guesses. This “risk” could be the unfortunate case of falsely reporting a news piece, resulting in a loss of credibility and, ultimately, readership. But that doesn’t seem as much of a “risk” as it does a consequence. In my own words, I would define a “risk” in terms of free speech as printing a statement or topic that is somewhat unconventional for its time, yet somehow undoubtedly interesting in nature. It may be slightly risqué, or even prohibited in some senses of the word, but often times, the “risk” is what makes the publication a success. Without this fear of failure, there is no transcendence to the next level occurring. The “risk” must be present so that the responsibility is there, to protect the “fear of failure” and turn the fear into a great accomplishment. It is ultimately the “fear” part of the aspect of free speech that continues the push for innovation and, ultimately, betterment.

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