What is Freedom of Expression?

Although the freedom of the press is not as discussed by us, the freedom of expression is a theme that is always present, in particular, when we want to expose our opinions on social networks – if these opinions are about public persons, especially politicians, since we are left with the “walk behind”, is not the same?

Well, let us understand right what they are about those freedoms, who they compete with and their respective limits:

What is freedom of expression?

This term refers to the freedom that a person has to manifest itself on the most different subjects and in many different ways (artistic, oral, written, etc.), ensuring what is known as free expression of thought and the free expression of intellectual, artistic, scientific and communication.

Freedom of expression and democracy are intrinsically linked, since this principle must be guaranteed by the democratic constitution. During a military dictatorship, for example, freedom of expression is suppressed.

The benefits of freedom of expression:

• Discussions are free and educated can generate good proposals for the solution of problems in the community and national;

• People who are well-informed about what happens in their community can positively interfere in public issues, such as health, security and education;

• A people who can express their thoughts publicly and without censorship can be considered a free people.

Although the benefits are large, it is important to remember that in the freedom of expression, limits are stipulated. There is a line that separates freedom of disrespect, violence and prejudice, and it should not be exceeded.

Freedom of expression in Brazil: limits to be respected

Many people believe that preach hatred against persons, groups, classes, and races, can be considered simple freedom of expression, but they are wrong!

There are restrictions and parameters that should be followed to express opinions about people, for example. If these parameters are not respected, the individual who thinks you can be sued for libel, slander, defamation or hate crime.

To injure the freedom of others, you lose your own right to freedom. This action can be divided into:

1. Crimes against the honor

The privacy, intimacy, honor and image of others can not be violated. The Criminal Law establishing the criminality of acts committed against the honour of somebody, either by modifying the way society sees it or as she herself goes to see.

That is, the limit of freedom of expression is the dignity of others. To go beyond this limit constitutes slander, libel and/or slander and is liable to punishment: fine and imprisonment.

2. Hate speech

In this case, there is the understanding that security is above freedom of expression. Thus, a person or a group cannot declare themselves in favour of, and encourage the genocide of homosexuals, for example, since this constitutes a hate speech.

In short: if your speech causes harm to the safety of a person or a group, it does not characterize freedom of speech, but a hate crime.

Freedom of expression: the constitution

According to the article 5 of the Federal Constitution, there is the guarantee of access to different information and expression of opinion on the part of all individuals, since this constitutes a fundamental right of the nation. However, in practice this usually does not happen.

Although Brazil has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UN), which guarantees the right of expression and security of that which is expressed, without the risk of censorship and retaliation, there is still the suppression of the movements that demand rights, break of secrecy, the processes carried out outside of the legal parameters established, the abuse of power, etc.

Thus, it can be said that freedom of expression is a right that is not fully guaranteed to all individuals.

Now that you know more about the freedom of expression, to read and understand more about the freedom of the press to finally be able to distinguish well from one another:

What is freedom of the press?

This term refers to the guarantee of publication, access and dissemination of information, without these being the target of censorship and actions overt on the part of government agencies. Although the freedom of the press and democracy are related, the truth is that this is a right that is not fully exercised by the media, which are censored constantly by people of great power.

The importance of freedom of the press

The importance of freedom of the press is coined in the fact that during the period of the military dictatorship, this was completely censored and the victim of retaliation and, therefore, the Constitution of 1988 shall ensure that the rights of the press and information, proposing that:

• No law can restrict or prohibit the complete freedom of journalistic information;

• Censorship of a political, ideological or artistic are sealed;

• The right of reply is ensured, by subjecting the one who informs erroneously to compensation for damage, material or moral.

This freedom of media is essential for the members of a society, having in view that the only way complaints of what is wrong in private companies and state can be made. In addition, the freedom of the press ensures different perspectives on a range of issues, generating discussions, reflections and changes in thinking.

The freedom of the press in Brazil

The freedom of the press relates not only to the right of a professional journalism to express themselves on the subjects, but also the security that this same professional must have to do it. Taking this into consideration, one can say that Brazil is not a safe country for journalists.

Dozens of brazilian journalists have been attacked when exercising their profession; others were threatened and intimidated. Some have even been killed because of the information they held.

The Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ) has come to declare that Brazil was the 11th country most dangerous for journalists to exercise their profession, while Reporters without Borders ranked Brazil in 104th place in the World Ranking of Freedom of the Press, in which are set out in 180 countries.

Freedom of the press: the constitution

The Article 220 of the 1988 Federal Constitution, its sub-paragraphs and paragraphs defending the Freedom of the press. Among the federal measures related to it, are:

• Regulation of amusement public with information about the nature and the age range appropriate for the display (cinemas, parks, TV programs);

• Establishment of the defence of advertising products and services harmful to health and the environment;

• Addition of warnings about the harm caused by the use of products such as tobacco, pesticides, alcoholic beverages and drugs;

• The prohibition of monopoly of the means of social communication, so as to avoid the manipulation of news;

• Independence of license for publication of vehicle communication printed.

That is, to have the guarantee of freedom of the press, the law regulates certain limits and rules that must be respected.

Freedom of the press (Karl Marx)

If you have interest in learning more about this subject, know that Karl Marx (marxist socialism) was a great defender of freedom and fighting censorship. By this, he published a book called Freedom of the Press, which can be easily found for sale on the Internet.

Difference between freedom of expression and freedom of the press

The difference between freedom of expression and freedom of the press lies in the extension of rights: freedom of expression extends to any person who lives in the national territory, be it native or foreign. The freedom of the press extends to the media and vehicles of communication, is the result of the claim of professional journalism.

Although liberty is a state’s fleeting and not a permanent condition, it is of utmost importance to pick her up according to the limits imposed by society.

Freedom of Expression