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The Fight Against Censorship: People's Communication Charter Essay

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The People's Communication Charter is an initiative of the Third World Network (Penang, Malaysia) and the Centre for Communication & Human Rights (Amsterdam, the Netherlands). Basic to the initiative is the observation that across the world people face pervasive forms of censorship, distorted and misleading information, stereotyped images of gender and race, restricted access to knowledge, and insufficient channels to communicate their ideas and opinions. The reality of our communication environment reduces the capacity of ordinary men and women to control the decisions that others take about their lives. This 'dis-empowerment' violates the human entitlement to dignity, equality and liberty.

To defend human integrity against this, communication should contribute to the 'empowerment' of people. This implies the need to improve the quality of our communication environment. This is a tall order. Communication is an arena largely controlled by very powerful interests. The media moguls and their political friends will not voluntarily put their stakes at risk. The information industr...


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