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The Contested Notion of Freedom of Opinion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the role of journalism in the forming of public opinion in light of the European Convention on Human Rights, not least in comparison with other international human rights obligations and U.S. constitutional doctrine. The first part of this chapter analyses whether freedom of opinion entails the right to form an opinion and what this right entails for an individual in society. For this reason the drafting stages of that right are looked into to try to formulate the scope of freedom of opinion in relation to the media. The second part tackles the impact of the media on opinion formation in society and assesses the permissible restrictions on journalism in cases of defamation, group defamation and hate speech. Finally the latent side of discrimination, the silencing effect of discriminatory journalism, is dealt with.

Keywords: discriminatory journalism; European convention on human rights; freedom of public opinion; International human rights



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