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Research paper #1 fys

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Claudia Chapman
Dr. Harold Blanco
FYS
29 January 2015
Why free speech should be regulated
In the United States does the fr...
speech is beginning to conflict with other values, such as security, the protection of
children and the desire not to offe...
People are not the only ones who are in danger when it comes to reactions of an
article; journalists are also in danger. T...
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Research paper #1 fys

  1. 1. Claudia Chapman Dr. Harold Blanco FYS 29 January 2015 Why free speech should be regulated In the United States does the freedom of speech still exist? Some say yes while others argue that our constitutional rights are being infringed upon. People need to understand that in today’s world we cannot say anything we would like without consequences; it is 2015 not 1776 and the founding fathers would not be able to fathom the levels of terrorism and war that occur today. A journalist’s job is to report what is happening in the world and they communicate with the public. But where does the United States draw the line on what journalists’ are allowed to report and what is too dangerous for the American public to hear? This is no longer just America’s problem, but a world problem. Journalists’ free speech should be regulated to prevent unrest between nations, races and religions. In the technologically advanced world we live in we are able to see things that are going on all over the world. As you watch the evening news you see videos of women and children being murdered in Syria and when you open your morning paper you read an article about the terror that Muslims inflict on the nation since 9/11. What we read written by journalists’ often times shape our opinions on certain religions and countries; journalists’ are able to negatively depict an entire religion resulting in a skewed view. Rapid globalization has allowed people with different backgrounds to mix thus the morality of free speech have stirred discussion in political debate (Binderup). Free
  2. 2. speech is beginning to conflict with other values, such as security, the protection of children and the desire not to offend religious sensibilities, not just in the Middle East but also in much of the world, including Western Europe (Greenblatt). Governments around the world have begun weakening free speech regulations due to the fear of offending religions (Binderup). Many incidents have occurred concerning the issue of free speech. The Cartoon Controversy beginning with the Danish cartoon of twelve Mohammed cartoons negatively depicting the Muslim religion caused frenzy in the Middle East resulting in unrest between the two (Binderup). Referring to this incident it was caused because of a newspaper cartoon, without this cartoon the unrest between the Danish and Danish-Muslims would not exist. Jonathan Turley states in the “Free Speech at Risk” article that, “he decline of free speech has come not from any single blow but rather from thousands of paper cuts.” For instance last year several Muslin countries broke out in frenzy due to an American-made YouTube video that depicted the Prophet Mohamed in a negative light (Greenblatt). This incidence makes us ask ourselves are we willing to risk safety to keep our fundamental rights as Americans? The clear answer is no. By regulating journalists’ free speech we are protecting our families and protecting ourselves from a potential terrorist attack. It is sad that we live in a world where we cannot express our feelings about other countries or other religions but we live in a time where we do not know peace and if being quiet hinders us from a terrorist attack then we should willingly be quiet. There is a completely valid point in that just because you have the legal right to express something it does not mean that you should because there are consequences and sometimes they may be deadly (Binderup).
  3. 3. People are not the only ones who are in danger when it comes to reactions of an article; journalists are also in danger. There is an example in the article “Free Speech at Risk” that depicts the number of journalists killed is on the rise. It is reported that seventy journalists were killed in 2012, forty-six percent of those were murdered, seventeen percent due to a dangerous assignment and thirty-six percent due to crossfire/combat (Greenblatt). Two hundred and thirty journalists were imprisoned in 2012 the highest number since 1990 (Greenblatt). Blasphemy prosecutions have become more common, especially in predominantly Islamic countries such as Pakistan, where blasphemy laws apply only to comments about Islam or Muhammad (Greenblatt). There is no question that journalists’ free speech should be regulated after looking at the statistics and knowing that the number of journalists killed is on the rise. We do not only need to protect ourselves and our families but protect the Journalism profession. Therefore, journalists’ free speech should undoubtedly be restricted. When the Constitution was written free speech was intended for people to be able to speak amongst themselves and share their beliefs about the political system. Along with freedom of speech there is also freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom to peacefully assemble. All of these freedoms have restrictions on them and freedom of speech should be restricted as well. Covers of newspapers that attack or provoke a religion or display a social situation in the wrong way should not be allowed. By restricting journalists’ we are protecting the American public from what we do not think they need to see as well as protecting ourselves from possible terrorist activities. On a national level I do believe there should be a national law concerning the press. If the United Nations sets a law
  4. 4. initiating regulated speech by journalists’ then the world will become a safer and more peaceful place.
  5. 5. Free Speech at Risk questions The underlying issues being debated in the readings are has technology made speech free, should religious sensibilities be allowed to limit free expression and should the U.S promote free speech abroad? These three underlying issues are the hot topics for this article. The benefits of regulating free speech as stated in this article are you limit riots. Many of the Middle East riots within the past few years have been caused due to publishing in other countries wrongfully depicting religions. By regulating free speech it will allow the unrest between countries to simmer down because they will not be allowed to write things sensitive for another country. Also, as stated in this article a journalist’s job is becoming more and more dangerous. The graph shows that forty-six percent of journalists were murdered in 2012 and seventeen percent died because their assignment was considered “dangerous”. By limiting free speech journalism would become a safer job in my opinion and the death rate would tremendously drop. Also, hate crimes in my opinion would drop as well. Hate is caused by what people say and many times people are influenced by what they read in the press. By regulating what people can say peoples opinions of other countries and religions may be different. The effects of unregulated free speech are dangerous. Unregulated free speech can result in riots, deaths, hate crimes, and civil unrest. The article referenced the many instances in the Middle East where riots began because of newspaper articles wrongfully depicting Mohammad and the Muslim religion. In many countries blasphemy is punishable by death for journalists’ and arrests are on the rise. By regulating the risk of death and jail time would no longer serve a purpose. The article targets democratic societies by saying they enjoy the most press freedom. According to the article Countries like, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands all
  6. 6. enjoy the most press freedom and countries under authoritarian regimes have the least including countries such as, North Korea and China.
  7. 7. Works Cited Bhagwat, Ashutosh. "Terrorism And Associations." Emory Law Journal 63.3 (2014): jjjjjjjj581-638. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. Binderup, Lars. "Global Freedom Of Speech." TRAMES: A Journal Of The xxxxxHumanities & Social Sciences 11.4 (2007): 403-418. Academic Search xxxxxPremier. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. Greenblatt, A. (2013, April 26). Free speech at risk. CQ Researcher, 23, 377-400. kkkkkRetrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/ Kozlowski, James C. "Town And City Ordinances Should Have Clear And Specific mmmLanguage When Regulating Free Speech Activities." Parks & Recreation 42.7 mmm(2007): 30-33. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. 102 Yale L.J. 1293. (April, 1993 ): 12345 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. zzzzzzDate Accessed: 2015/01/29.

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