The Universal Role of a Free Press


• To maintain a healthy skepticism toward and be an independent “watchdog” over authority.

• To speak out on social issues. Show the way for promoting reforms in society.

• To be the “voice of the voiceless.” Speak on behalf of minorities.

• Promote the free flow of information — ethically.

• Most importantly, work to earn the credibility and respect of the general public.

A free flow of information and access to public documents is most essential to the dynamism of a modern society.

The new trend toward “civic journalism” practiced in some communities is worth looking at: The news media not only report what is going on, but also help set the public agenda. Citizens themselves participate in news-making activities.

The most important role of journalism is to provide people with a wide range of information so as to promote democracy.

Through the Internet and other new media, we, the citizens of the world, can work on setting up a “universal principle” of journalism. At its best, journalism indeed serves the interests of global citizens — not merely the interests of any one state.