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Four Theories of the Press
Transcript of Four Theories of the Press
1940s Commission on Freedom of the Press.
A socially responsible press seeks to protect free expression of individuals in all manners of mass communication and requires the media to represent all points of view on the social spectrum.
It promotes media ethics and responsibility.
Sponsored by Henry Luce (Time/Life) and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
John Stuart Mill
- On Liberty 1859.
The right of mature individuals to think and act as they please so long as they do not hurt someone else.
The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
John Milton 1644
Let all with something to say be free to express themselves. “Let truth and falsehood grapple: whoever knew truth to be worse in a free and open encounter…though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field. We do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength.”
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
Four Theories of the Press-
How information shall be disseminated in a society.
Private ownership of the presses.
Government uses licensing and taxation to monitor and control the media.
Plato-even an enlightened society must be supervised by the wisest and strongest
Rule by the educated, rich and powerful
Machiavelli The Prince.
The ends justify the means.
The government owns the presses.
Former Soviet Union
Chancellor Robert M. Hutchings
Chair of the commission
Whoever enjoys freedom has certain obligations to society
Society’s welfare becomes the most overriding concern. An individual’s right to speak out are balanced by group rights to be free from invasion of privacy or libel; personal right to free expression are described in terms of public access to the media and the “public’s right to know.”
Media, as a matter of policy, carry views contrary to their own