Simon Enright - Responsible Media. The limits of free speech

Op 8 maart 2013 gaf BBC-directeur Simon Enright een lezing over “Responsible Media – The Limits of Free Speech”. 

Over de spreker

After studying political sciences at Oxford University Mr Simon Enright started working as an assistant editor for the BBC. Since 2010 he has been running the BBC’s World Affairs Unit, which deploys correspondents to cover news stories across the world. He is all-round journalist known for his critical mind and in-depth research of current events. His experience of many years is revealed in numerous critical analyses of topical matters.

Over de lezing

Freedom of speech is considered to be the keystone of a democratic society but has proven time and again to be a rather fuzzy concept. The idea of ‘openness’ is continually challenged, for instance, in the recent worldwide debate (2012) about some fictional American footage of the Prophet Mohammed’s life, or in the commotion in various European countries about cartoons in which specific religious communities are ridiculed. Such events raise the question as to the role of the media in defining the borders of free speech. Does joking ever become a racist act? Are there universal, moral standards that can be used to determine different limits of free speech, or should these limits be culturally determined? How could the authorities set limits to newspapers without interfering with the essential independence of the media? Should there be a European, legal consensus about ‘publication limits’?