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Fact and friction

• Thomas Jefferson said: "Given the choice between a free press and a free government -- I would choose a free press any day." I agree!

There is no place for governments to be involved in the free flow of information through all organs of the media.

It is better for the public to permit errors on the part of the mass media rather than controls by government.

The ink and electronic media should only be held to account in a court of law if and when what they write or say is in the view of a jury that they knew or should have known same to be false at the time of publication.

Or that the media organ had a total disregard for the truth in that they did little or no research in support of their written or stated opinion.

In short the only true 'free press' is the one you own yourself. The 'chilling effect' of our present approach in controlling the media is not only frightening but dangerous to democratic principles.

Elected officials please stop regulating the mass media -- the public has the intelligence to know fact from propaganda or fiction.

Vincent J Lavery
Coliemore Road, Dalkey

Irish Independent