Independent press is crucial to functioning, productive and healthy societies for several reasons most importantly:
- Holding Power Accountable: The primary function of the press is to act as a watchdog over those in power. Independent press can expose wrongdoing, corruption, and abuses of power, keeping those in power accountable and providing a check against authoritarianism.
- Providing Objective Information: Independent press can provide a range of perspectives and opinions on important issues. By presenting unbiased information and allowing for the free exchange of ideas, it can help citizens make informed decisions and develop their own opinions.
But what if the press outlets that claim to be independent and impartial are, in fact, funded by the governments? This week, the German Junge Freiheit reported that the German government’s funding of media outlets has increased by 45% since 2021. The total has grown to 2.14 million Euros in 2023, mostly from the Foreign Office (Greens) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (SPD), which raises questions about the independence of the German press among the general public.
In the meantime, Elon Musk’s Twitter started adding the label “Government Funded” under Western mainstream outlets such as the CBC Cabada, BBC, ABC Australia, SBS Australia, RNZ New Zealand, SR Ekot and SVT Sweden, and Catalonia’s TV3.cat.
Under the previous administration, this label was weaponized against Russian, Iranian and Latin American media outlets to discredit them. Under Musk’s administration, all government-funded outlets are getting their share.
In this video, Kevork Almassian explains the essence of a free press and why it is important for the general public and their interests.
Kevork Almassian is an award-winning political commentator from Syria. He is the founder of Syriana Analysis and is known for his contribution to the literature on the Syrian war.