Are All Forms of Censorship Wrong

Topics: 2008 Summer Olympics, Olympic Games, Beijing Pages: 4 (1035 words) Published: May 22, 2011
Are all forms of censorship are wrong?

The aim of this research is to analyse the role of censorship in the modern world and answer the question whether or not are all forms of censorship wrong. Henry Reichmann (Censorship and selection: issues and answers for schools) defines censorship as “(…) the removal, suppresion, or restricted circulation of literary, artistic, or educational materials- of ideas, images, and information –on the grounds that these are morally or otherwise objectionable in light of standards applied by the censor” (Reichmann: XXX). The issue of censorship has been widely discussed over the past years. Whether or not the media should be subject to censorship is a bone of contention among politicians but even ordinary people hardly ever stay indifferent when they are asked about their view on controlling the information and ideas circulated within a society. The opponents of censorship often argue that it is the hallmark of dictatorship. Such reasoning is not devoid of logic and reason. Many people have attempted banning others from reaching certain informations over the course of history. As early as in the year 213 BC the emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi, commanded that all the books which tackled subjects not considered practical be burned. The emperor did it for fear of criticism which might have been included in the books. (Philip Steele, Censorship). It cannot be denied that censorship is often used in totalitarian countries as a means of banning its citizens from inconvenient truths. Such was also the case during the Bejing 2008 Olympic Games when certain western websites could not be accessed from China. Indeed, censorship is often misused. However, before jumping to the conclusion that all forms of censorship are wrong one should consider a variety of daily life situations when the control exerted by the authorities over the mass media turns out to be beneficial. Censorship, however, is not always carried out by dictators and...
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