Formal, traditional media, say newspapers, radio and television companies that focused on news broadcasting, have been, together, the pillars that support a free press in the world.
They make a rough layer of stainless steel within the ecosystem of information that censorship has often tried to pierce with restrictive laws or the complete suppression of the media under dictatorial regimes or denatured “democracies” that do not permit complete liberties of any kind.
This column could indeed collapse during the process of transitioning almost all media to the digital space, which now thoroughly engulfs the planet. The concept of a free press, based on the independent operations of traditional media could be kissed goodbye.
The laws or regulations that have served as a framework for the reliable and conscious exercise of freedom of speech have not, in a general sense, crossed the limits that may lead to the extermination of such media, except in those cases where the truculence of a dictatorship abruptly kills it.
The other universe or space that is free for the exercise of an independent journalism, exempt from ideological ties and subordinations to power, is the digital ecosystem, which has always had a profile closer to that of a channel for deriving opinions, concerns and acclaims from all individuals, with the exception of digital journals that follow the standards of quality, veracity and reliability of professional journalists.
But the very atomization of that ecosystem, even if it gives an advantage, is what makes it slightly distance itself from the classical press, for which the freedom to inform and guide in a professional manner keeps its relevance as the foundation and key for democracy.
For the layman, freedom of the press is a concept linked and applied to the field of traditional media, in the same way that there are other freedoms applicable to the natural rights of human beings, such as transit, health, work, education, among others.
In the end, all rights are bound to the configuration of a modern and progressive society. Suspending or weakening one of them means dealing an offense to our laws.
I cannot imagine at what levels of disuse could our free press fall when the paradigms on which it’s been based fizzle out as we know them, unveiling an uncertain future for said traditional media.
– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.