The Rights of Journalism and the Needs of Audiences*

  • Onora O’Neill


In Tom Stoppard’s play Night and Day,1 one character remarks to another: ‘I’m with you on the free press. It’s the newspapers I can’t stand.’ Discussions of the proper configuration of press freedom have not moved very far from this impasse in the 30 years since the play was published. This is evident in the fruitless reiteration of rival claims about supposed speech rights, both by those who think the media – at least the print media – should be self-regulating, and that anything else will lead to censorship, and by those who think that the media – including the print media – should be restricted or regulated in various ways.


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  1. 1.
    1 Tom Stoppard, Night and Day (London: Faber and Faber, 1978).Google Scholar

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© Onora O’Neill 2014

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  • Onora O’Neill

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