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British Empire and Censorship

By ethanmbiron Oct 30, 2013 448 Words
Although censorship sometimes limits rights and opportunities, it is often clearly justified. Many situations occur in which it is necessary for people or the government to make sure some information is not released to the public. For safety, well-being, and the greater good in general, censorship is a very vital part of society. As the British censorship in WWI and the Chinese censorship of the press demonstrate, censorship is justified. The way the British government altered or deleted some news on the British army in WWI was actually very necessary. In order to keep the morale high back in Britain, the government ordered the newspapers and reporters to only release positive news. When there was no good news, they were forced to completely twist the events of the war. The media once reported a great victory for the British in the Battle of the Somme, when in fact it had been the worst day in British military history in terms of casualties. Although this lie was not a honest decision in itself, it prevented the civilians from despairing. The government needed money and soldiers from the civilians and the only way to obtain these resources was to print positive news on the war. So because the government acted for the greater good of the nation, censorship of the news on WWI was justified. the Chinese censorship of the press during the Cultural Revolution was also justified. Because China was a new nation recuperating from two consecutive wars, it needed all the support it could harness. The sheer number of people was its greatest strength, so the government had to convince them that the changes occuring were worth the effort. When the steel industry of China came about, it was an absolute failure. In order to keep the Chinese civilians believing that they were making great progress for the nation, the government printed outstanding statistics on their steel industry and poured positive propaganda in the citizens' minds. Although this action was not based on the truth and facts, it was still justified. The Chinese government needed the support of its people to establish a firm foundation. Because the government worked for the nation as a whole, the censorship was justified. For these reasons, it is clear that censorship is not always unjustified. If it serves the greater good, censorship can be a very vital part of progress. The way Britain censored war news to keep morale high, and China censored media to gain the support of its citizens are obvious examples of how censorship is justified. Censorship in itself is not necessarily a good idea, but when put into context for a purpose larger than itself, is absolutely justified.

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