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Building and Sustaining Freedom of Expression, Considering Sweden

Journal article
Authors Andrew Kenyon
Eva-Maria Svensson
Maria Edström
Published in Nordicom Review 2017:1
Volume 38
Issue 1 (Jun 20017)
Pages 31-45
ISSN 1403-1108
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Department of Law
Pages 31-45
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1515/nor-2016-00...
Keywords approaches to free speech, non-censorship, diversity of voices, democratic rationale for free speech, journalism
Subject categories Media and Communications, Jurisprudence

Abstract

Although countries protect and promote freedom of expression in different ways, free speech can be understood to have two basic aspects in democratic constitutional systems: non-censorship and diversity of voices. This article examines how the approach to free speech in Sweden contains both these aspects. Selected comparisons with the US First Amendment, and German broadcasting law, indicate the value in the Swedish approach but also reveal challenges that it faces if free speech’s dual aspects are not clearly recognised – a danger that some contemporary statements suggests is real. Articulating free speech in terms of both non-censorship and diversity may aid Swedish parliamentary processes to uphold important structural aspects of the freedom, but it would also bring into focus larger questions about the limits of parliamentary processes alone in building a viable system of freedom of expression for the future.

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