A communitarian theory of press freedom

(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract The thesis is to provide a communitarian theory of freedom of the press as an alternative to two schools of thoughts informed by major political theories, namely liberalism and authoritarianism. Before articulating the communitarian theory, the thesis will first review and critique both liberal arguments for press freedom and authoritarian considerations against it. While it is argued that liberal arguments from individual authority and truth-discovery to democracy have inherent difficulties in cultivating the press that could serve the community well, the potential dangers resulting from authoritarian theory and practices of the press will also be discussed. For authoritarianism, the arguments of Singapore officials will be chosen for a case study, not only because their arguments are articulate but also because they profess themselves to be communitarian, who are authoritarian in disguise. After two major theories of press freedom are reviewed, the thesis will present the communitarian view of the press by first revisiting traditional justifications of freedom of the press. It is to reinterpret the meanings of freedom of the press in the light of communitarian values and analysis. Informed by communitarian thinking, it will be argued, the press could play an active role in promoting deliberative dialogue, civic participation and community building. (204 words).
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