Freedom of expression is the concept of being able to transfer ideas or thoughts verbally or otherwise freely without censorship. It was awarded global recognition as a universal human right and ingrained in the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In spite of its status, it is never absolute in any country. The international law posits that, restrictions on free speech must comport with a strict three part test viz: operate under provision of the law, express legitimacy in pursuing aim, and display the relevance to the accomplishment of the said aim.
To this end, the dignity of a person is much more of his expression than wealth. In actual sense, the loss of freedom of expression is equated to loss of credibility in all respects. Governments today spend billions in branding themselves as investor destinations providing return on investment through social, economic and political stability. However, these efforts to achieve desired economic growth becomes unrewarding with a subdued sense of expression. Like a spectrum of colours in rainbow, the society displays the wealthy and poor in ranks of dignity; regimes with rotten ideologies, people with divisive utterances and societies with despised wisdom.
Freedom of mass media is the fundamental basis on which democracy and good governance are pivoted. Advantages of free press is the reason for the revolution in information that forms the global village (globalisation).
As history notes, Sukarno, the former President of Indonesia, during a visit to Hollywood characterised media as unconscious revolutionaries because media-makers create new expectations, increase knowledge of other possibilities of better life for example, of other ideologies, and even other forms of governances. And as very often been stated, it remains true, what the eminent Thomas Jefferson, one time American President had to say once, and I...