On Censorship

Throughout history censorship has followed the free expressions of men and women like a shadow. In ancient societies, for example China, censorship was considered a legitimate instrument for regulating the moral and political life of the population

Censorship is ancient and global. The origin of the term censor can be traced to the office of censor established in Rome in 443 BC. In Rome as in ancient Greece, the ideal of good governance included shaping the character of the people. Hence censorship was regarded as an honourable task. In China the first censorship law was introduced in 300 AD. Today censorship is regarded as the suppression of free expression, speech, the exchange of ideas and other expressions. Censorship can be direct, indirect and self-imposed.

Paul Sturges, Professor Emeritus, Loughborough University, UK (Professor Extraordinary, University of Pretoria, South Africa) has penned REGULATING THE PRESS: ENSURING RESPONSIBILITY, OR ROAD TO CENSORSHIP, a new article for the Beacon website. The essay is hearty and insightful. Sturges offers keen observations and raises questions about the difficulty of regulating the press and protecting freedom of expression. Arguing that press freedom and responsibility go hand in hand, Sturges uses content from the Beacon database to discuss the similarities and differences between regulation and censorship in different social contexts."This essay will focus mainly on the current British debate on press regulation, but also draw on content listed in the Beacon for Freedom of Expression database," Sturges notes.