Argument advanced for including public interest footing for press freedom

Joel Simon in the Columbia Journalism Review, February 7, 2023, holds that it has not yielded the desire outcomes to solely rest the defense of press freedom on human rights, that it is time to stress the idea of public interest and the social benefits of strong independent journalism. He writes: “The defense of fundamental rights must continue to be at the heart of press freedom advocacy, but must be infused with a recognition that in the current environment news and information that advances accountability and democratic debate will not necessarily prevail in the ‘marketplace of ideas.’ Press freedom organizations should therefore adopt a rights plus approach, elevating the defense of journalism that meets the highest ideals of the profession, that is journalism that serves the public interest.”

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