FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN ACADEMIA AND THE MEDIA
Freedom of expression has become “a highly regarded concept around theworld.”1 Its value has become so common and acknowledged in the western liberal countries, that Robert Trager and Donna Dickerson even argue that “Americans have a tendency to believe that the freedom to express their beliefs is a basic part of what it means to be an American.”2 Even though its breadth and depth differ from country to country, more than 60 countries have freedom-of-expression provisions in their constitutions.3 The fact that freedom of expression is included in so many constitutions and in every universal or international document on human rights, “says that there is some level of consensus about its value.”4 However, its content, boundaries, and practice are not very clear, and sometimes even vague and disputable. There is always tension between our desire to maximize freedom of expression and between other considerations, some of which are moral or normative. The tension between social and political desires to intensify freedom of expression and aesthetical and ethical considerations become very complicated vis-à-vis the media and academia. Both domains usually enjoy some extent of immunity against censorship, and we are very careful to avoid limiting the range of their freedoms and particularly the freedom to broadcast things that we basically loathe.We believe that the independence of editors, reporters, and university professors is beneficial for society, and their autonomy is a significant part of their journalistic mission and their creative activity. In college campuses, academic freedom has became almost sacred and we will not tolerate the possibility that political or economical interests or considerations would affect the curricula or the contents of courses given in academic institutions. We think that academic freedom is crucially important for the progress and creativity of scientific work, and hence ascribe full autonomy to research teams in the universities as well as to the lecturers.
KeywordsAcademic Institution Electronic Medium Academic Freedom Free Speech Hate Speech
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