"Three reasons why freedom of expression is essential to a free society."
"It's the foundation of self-fulfillment. The right to express one's thoughts and to communicate freely with others affirms the dignity and worth of each and every member of society, and allows each individual to realize his or her full human potential. Thus, freedom of expression is an end in itself - and as such, derves society's greatest protection.
It's vital to the attainment and advancement of knowledge, and the search for the truth. The eminent 19th-century writer and civil libertarian, John Stuart Mill, contended that enlightened judgement is possible only if one considers all facts and ideas, from whatever source, and tests one's own conclusions against opposing views. Therefore, all points of view - even those that are "bad""or socially harmful - should be presented in society's "marketplace of ideas."
It's necessary to our system of self-government and gives the American people a "checking function"against government excess and corruption. If the American people are to be the masters of their fate and of their elected government, they must be well-informed and have access to all information, ideas and points of view. Mass ignorance is a breeding ground for oppression and tyranny."
Freedom of Expression - ACLU Position Paper January 2, 1997
Freedom of Expression and Community Radio
Community radio plays and integral role in maintaining freedom of expression at the grassroots level by:
- strengthening the "cultural health"of a region through supporting local artists, musicians, authors, and other cultural activities
- empowering citizens by providing a forum for a diversity of viewpoints and ideas
- giving the opportunity for expression to those underrepresented by mass media
- promoting awareness of community-based organizations and services
- offering an effective instrument for community development
- complimenting state and local educational efforts.