Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Almost one year since the controversy caused by the South African Zapiro's cartoons of Jacob Zuma preparing to rape the South Africa justice system and three years after the other controversy of the Dannish Newspaper Jyllands Posten on the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, the press has been accused of many abuses. It's a very delicate issue but it is an excuse for us to debate on the following: is freedom of expression totally free ?


  1. I think freedom of expression is totally free. Just because there have to be rules and parameters doesn't mean there is no freedom. For example, I know I can't walk into people's houses and shoot them and not get locked up. It doesn't mean I am not a free citizen of Ghana. It just means there are laws and rules that govern general behaviour and that are intended for the greater good of society. Do I agree with all these laws? Maybe not. But I do agree that freedom should be beneficial to all in the community, especially when it comes to freedom of expression in the media, an arena that affects mostly everyone.

  2. The way I see it, freedom of expression is one of the most important barometer of the democracy in a country level. And by its very nature, freedom of expression is free, it is our interpretation of this expression, of what is said that can restrict it.
    With regards to the freedom of the press, the recent detentions or physical violence against some journalists in Senegal and in many african country is very harmful because it is vital that the press can fulfil its informative role, even if we can question the informations.

  3. i'll agree with both Anneth and Rama. yea freedom of expression is free but our interpretations restrict them..i totally agree. Also with Anne that there are laws and rules that govern general behavior and that are intended for the greater good of society.

    i am also saying No!it is not totally free especially in the media bcuz,the press are not given the full freedom to talk about the negative issues facing our communities as they are always detained for giving such informations to the public. this those not only apply to the media but also to the people in the communities.

  4. I was just reading a newspaper column that addresses this issue:

    " freedom only exists in a context. I guess having freedom generally only means that you have not been deprived of your liberty. That does not mean you could go and fetch someone a hefty one on the jaw or break his neck in exercise of that liberty, does it? Whenever freedom of the press is being discussed, no reference is often made to its legal boundaries.

    The truth, Jomo, is that the much talked about press freedom, and indeed any kind of freedom, is exercised subject to laws. No? Legal rules on court reporting, libel, defamation and innuendo laws, state secrecy acts, laws on reporting rape and crimes involving minors, laws on copy and property rights, and well, a host of other laws, place solid limits on press freedom, don't they, Jomo?

    If any kind of freedom were absolute, there would be absolute chaos in society given the nature of man, don't you think? I guess freedom of the press simply means constitutionally guaranteed freedom of journalists to collect and disseminate information without hindrance."

    Taken from "Letter to Jomo" by George Sydney Abugri, journalist for Ghana's Daily Graphic.