Freedom of speech and of the press has long been considered part of America’s Constitutional, inalienable rights. These rights are not incorporated in every culture. I wanted to develop a series exploring the differences between the expression and history of free speech laws in our American culture, especially compared to a country with tighter restrictions, like China.
This series, based on informative research, will primarily compare history and practice between America and China. By examining specific examples, I will explore how each country approaches the execution of their respective free speech laws. This includes the extent to which citizens can exercise freedom of expression. It also includes the censorship of the Internet and social media. Then, we will discuss how their approaches affect the freedom of the press.
This series will explore the similarities and differences in the freedom of the press. It will briefly discuss where each country’s media experiences freedom, and it will touch on where each country’s media is limited. Finally, it will delve into how informed their citizens are based on how easily they can access the truth. Considering the other complexities, the series will assess how easily each country’s citizens can find research coming from uncensored facts and unbiased sources.
Don’t Boo, Vote
At a rally for the 2016 Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton, an elderly man dressed in military attire stood up. Everyone looked on as he stood silently, holding a sign in support of her opponent, Donald Trump. While he was being escorted from the building, the crowd booed and jeered at him. President Barack Obama promptly told the audience to quiet down, discouraging them from creating an uproar. Kate Abbey-Lambertz for The Huffington Post reported that he told them:
“You’ve got an older gentleman who’s supporting his candidate. He’s not doing nothing. You don’t have to worry about him. […] We live in a country that respects free speech. Don’t boo, vote.”Obama Shouts Over Crowd To Defend Trump Supporter At Rally, par. 5-7
Here, it is clearly seen that even the head of the American government is a proponent of free speech. Other countries are not so fortunate. Imagine what might have happened if someone in China stood up in opposition to the Communist Party. Without a doubt, they would have been silenced. How would it feel to live in a world without free speech? How can one country justify stripping their citizens of their ability to express their opinion?
For the United States, freedom of the press is a First Amendment right, but for China, there are clearly some stricter regulations. Some would argue that the independence of the American media has led to issues being blown out of proportion; thus, many American citizens are misinformed. On the other hand, the limitations experienced by the Chinese press means that their citizens are uninformed.
Comparatively, Chinese free speech laws are more oppressive than the American laws; therefore, the United States’ press is less censored. An examination of both American and Chinese free speech laws reveals contrasts in the following major complexities: the execution of free speech laws, the freedom of the press, and the accessibility of the truth for the citizens.
Abbey-Lambertz, Kate. “Obama Shouts Over Crowd To Defend Trump Supporter At Rally.” The Huffington Post. HPMG News, 04 Nov. 2016. Web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-defends-trump-supporter-video_us_581cebe0e4b0d9ce6fbc0910
Lopez, German. “Obama to Democrats booing Donald Trump: “Don’t boo. Vote.” Vox.com. 27 July 2016. Web. https://www.vox.com/2016/7/27/12306628/obama-trump-boo-dnc-democratic-convention