Monday, August 1, 2011
Sophie Awino Otieno has published The Effect of Censorship Laws on Media Freedoms. Here is the abstract.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights , The European Convention on Human rights and the Kenyan constitution guarantees the media under their provisions, the freedom of expression and opinion. However, the media can do both good and damage in terms of the information, images ideas and speech which it relays to the public if it is left unchecked; hence the need for censorship. Censorship is the control of speech, information and images that are going to be viewed by the public and it is usually exercised by the government or governing bodies.
However, the media has been made an avenue for political influence whereby the government uses its power in the appointment of media controlling houses which then serve to create a form of political influence on the content of the media. The view that censorship should not be left to the government alone is one that could lead us out of this silent form of dictatorship because a free press leads to modern democracy. If the government is given too much power to control information then it is prone to abuse that power. This research paper examines the government's excesses in censoring the media; and, while recognizing that media regulation and censorship is necessary in this modern era, it explores other approaches to censorship that do not necessarily lead to media oppression.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.