“The Risks and Responsibilities of Free Speech”


As an aspiring journalism major looking for a future in the legal field, I fully support the transparency of our government and its legal proceedings, especially concerning the topic of free speech. With our 1st Amendment, however, also comes a certain level of responsibility, both to the intended audience and to the writer (yourself). As a journalist, you possess the power to potentially influence and control the way the story is presented, making it imperative to carry the responsibility of reporting the facts and covering the entirety of the story. While ‘free speech’ is often interpreted in terms of the 1st Amendment, it must also be seen as a term that implies full coverage of a story or topic, as withholding information is a form of false reporting. Therefore, I strongly agree with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and the other journalists featured in the video that this type of world, where journalism is heavily restricted, is morally wrong. Furthermore, the kidnappings of journalists around the world prove to be further testament as to the severity of this issue, a topic that affects someone’s, perhaps an entire country’s daily reporting of the news. Various examples of the failure to disclose all information can be seen on many levels, including the national news. With the example of the families of those on Malaysia’s Flight 370, those of the United States seemed to be better informed, thus appearing much calmer, than those of Malaysian descent who had little-to-no information on what exactly happened to their families. The issue of reporting transparency and the rights and responsibilities of free speech permeate a variety of levels.


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