Providing a forum and preserving
the right to communicate
erhaps the most essential right is that of communication. Without the freedom to communicate, other rights deteriorate.
It is in this spirit that Freedom has consistently spoken out on issues and often presented views different from the majority of the press.
Naturally, freedom of expressionand its extension, freedom of the pressunderlie all topics reported by Freedom. The right to communicate however is also exercised by providing a forum for those who have been denied a means to speak out on important issues. Freedom has also provided a forum to a broad spectrum of authors whose common denominator has been their dedication to the preservation of freedom of speech.
A great many individuals comprise efforts to preserve and advance freedom of expression in its various forms. Among those Freedom has highlighted the works of and, at times, published the words of are in the vanguard of those effortssuch as Paul McMasters, executive director of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, and U.S. Representative Don Edwardseach of whom were also recipients of Freedoms Human Rights Leadership Award [See also Supporting Human Rights Leadership].
|The late Judge Jim Garrison, immortalized in the movie JFK, broke years of media silence in 1986 in Freedom with his views of Kennedys assassination.|
A Means of Speaking Out
The late Judge Jim Garrison, a central figure in the movie JFK, chose Freedom in 1986 as his forum to end years of media silence. As New Orleans district attorney from 1962 to 1974, Garrison conducted an extensive investigation in the late 1960s of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Freedom published articles by Judge Garrison conveying his views and evidence of events and circumstances surrounding JFKs assassination and of the part the killing played in a transformation of Americas government and future.
Between 1985 and 1987, Freedom also published a 19-part series by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, whose 30 years of close work with U.S. intelligence services included an eight-year tenure as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a similar capacity with the Office of Special Operations of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The series provided a unique and highly informative view of the events which led up to the Vietnam War. The articles also provided seminal material for the movie JFK, for which Colonel Prouty also served as consultant.
One of the subjects most visited by media, government, religion and civic leaders today is drugsfrom prevention to consumption, and accompanying societal ills. Freedom has provided a forum to individuals with knowledge of illicit activities which have promulgated the drug problem or hampered efforts to resolve it. In an investigative series from 1989 to the present on The Drugging of America, a number of individuals including law enforcement officials and members of the news media, who have had no other outlet for speaking out about corruption they have witnessed, have spoken out in Freedom. [See also Government Reform.]
Top experts on radiation have also contributed to Freedom on fundamental issues of nuclear energy and nuclear weaponsinformation they hold is not being released by appropriate government offices to the public. A series of articles provided by these experts revealed information about nuclear power plants, low-level radiation, nuclear weapons, and the cost of nuclear power.
Freedom has provided a forum to countless other individuals and groups in the interest of justice and reform.
Free Expression and the Internet
Aside from supporting freedom of expression for others, Freedom has been in the forefront of reporting on issues which directly concern the freedom itself.
During the 1990s, freedom of expression has extended to include the computerization of the way we live, work, and conduct our day to day affairs. Due to its capability for instantaneous global communication, the Internet has provided a new frontier for free speech and its protection within the parameters of responsibility and lawfulness. For the same reason, it has also put freedom of speech to its most crucial test.
The right to ones own thoughts and their disposition is a fundamental human right. Authors, artists, designers, and the myriad of others in creative and intellectual fields have the right to share their words or ideas with others or not. If they choose to share them, they also have the right to control the way in which they may be shared. In this way, intellectual property rights and free expression are inextricably linked.
Freedom has championed the application of existing laws regarding intellectual property rights to the Internet, and supported responsible self-restraint by individual users.
Self-policing by Internet users is ultimately the means by which to ensure continued freedom from over-regulation. However, Freedom has expressed the view that some regulation may become necessary if free speech is abused, thus has also presented the view that existing intellectual property laws be applied where necessary to those who violate the rights of others. Freedom of speech means neither the freedom to steal, nor the right to claim anothers speech as ones own, nor to copy anothers writing and sell it or give it away without the authors permission.
Freedom has also informed officials, community leaders, and the media on copyright issues pertaining to the Internet, including its in-depth coverage of court cases that are setting precedents for the protection of intellectual property rights on the Internet.
A Free Society
Due to continued support and dedication to the freedom of expression, Freedom has been able to provide a wide variety of views and accounts of news over the past 30 years. In a world where the public is majorly informed by means of fragmentary day-to-day news processed through a few news media who, because of their size, dominate the flow of information, accounts by other media such as Freedom who can provide different viewsare increasingly important to a free society.