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General Paper Essay Outline : To restrict the press or not to restrict, that is the question

What is the press ? 

The press refers to the section of the mass media industry that focuses on presenting current news to the public. (from ask.com) The press can be government-controlled, part of profit-making private enterprise or independent

Functions of the press : – to inform – to present comment and analysis on issues, give attention to the concerns of the people, be they the majority or minority groups – to provide an avenue for expression of public opinion

What ideals SHOULD the press aspire to ? – the press should be a force for good in society – the press should  strive for honesty, integrity, accuracy and fairness so that viewers and readers will get a better understanding of the issues presented. Consequently, the people are then able to form opinions or make decisions that reinforce the universal values of integrity and fairness in their respective societies.

So, do these ideals mean that press freedom should be unlimited ?

The answer is no.

(1)There should be as much freedom as possible for views to be heard. So that problems can be made known, solutions can be, consequently, worked on.

(2) There should not be limitations that are imposed on the masses just so that specific groups can control information to benefit themselves or exploit the masses e.g. the government ? profit-motivated companies ? groups with specific agendas to advance themselves & exclude others ?

(3) However, that said, there should also be just enough guidelines and measures to ensure that the veracity of reporting can be checked.

(4) Furthermore, there should be just enough restrictions so that civility is maintained in the commentaries and discourse that are presented by the press to prevent any discussion from degenerating into unproductive mud-slinging.

Thesis Statement / Concluding Idea = Any limitations to press freedom should only be to preserve as much freedom for the masses. At the end of the day, the access to information and opinions provided by the press should, and can, serve to build a better and more just society.

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