Independent news media operates free of any influence from both the government and the corporate sector. When people get information from independent sources, they are encouraged to think critically and form their own opinions, making independent media vital for any democracy.
For hundreds of years, a free press has been considered an essential component of democracy. Today, however, independent media around the world face a surprising paradox: though more countries in the world are democracies than ever before, the war on journalism goes beyond the most extreme acts of murder and intimidation — journalists routinely face legal and financial pressures and other forms of intimidation that prevent them from fulfilling their vital role in the democratic process. Restrictions on blogging, Internet usage, and popular social media services also serve to stifle the voices of Independent news media.
It is worthwhile to reflect on the importance of the free exchange of information to a functioning democracy. The crucial feature which sets democracy apart from other political systems is the ability to self-correct. Even with free and fair elections, this can’t happen if dissenting voices are stifled.
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