Press and State

September 21, 1948

Report Outline
Press Freedom and the United Nations
Press as Protector of Individual Rights
State as Protector of Individual Rights

Press Freedom and the United Nations

Conventions Awaiting General Assembly Action

Three Proposed Conventions dealing with freedom of information are to be taken up at the third regular session of the United Nations General Assembly now meeting in Paris. The conventions were framed at the U.N. Conference on Freedom of Information which sat in Geneva from Mar. 23 to Apr. 21, 1948. Each has an important bearing on the relations of governments and the agencies for news gathering and dissemination known collectively as the press.

A Convention on the Gathering and International Transmission of News provides that the nations which accept it will refrain from censoring outgoing news, except for reasons of “national security,” and that if such censorship is necessary, it will be carried out in the manner specified in the convention. The rights of all foreign correspondents to equal treatment would be guaranteed.

A Convention Concerning the Institution of an International Right of Correction is designed to implement a resolution unanimously adopted by the General Assembly at its 1947 session which recommended that the nations explore ways in which “the publication of false or distorted reports likely to injure friendly relations between states” could be combatted. This convention provides that where a state “alleges that news reports likely to injure its relations with other states, transmitted from one country to another country by foreign correspondents or by news agencies and disseminated abroad, are false or distorted,” it may submit its version of the facts to the state in which the challenged report has been published, and that the government of that state shall within five days make the statement available to the information agencies which supply news to the public. In case of failure of a government to act, the Secretary General of the U.N. would be required to bring the answering version of facts to public attention.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Feb. 05, 2010  Press Freedom
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Jan. 20, 2006  Future of Newspapers
Apr. 08, 2005  Free-Press Disputes
Oct. 15, 2004  Media Bias
Oct. 10, 2003  Media Ownership Updated
Dec. 25, 1998  Journalism Under Fire
Jun. 05, 1998  Student Journalism
Sep. 20, 1996  Civic Journalism
Sep. 23, 1994  Courts and the Media
Aug. 24, 1990  Hard Times at the Nation's Newspapers
Jan. 19, 1990  Finding Truth in the Age of ‘Infotainment’
Aug. 18, 1989  Libel Law: Finding the Right Balance
Jun. 06, 1986  Magazine Trends
Oct. 12, 1984  News Media and Presidential Campaigns
Jul. 15, 1983  State of American Newspapers
Oct. 23, 1981  High Cost of Libel
Dec. 23, 1977  Media Reforms
Mar. 11, 1977  News Media Ownership
Jun. 21, 1974  Access to the Media
Dec. 20, 1972  Newsmen's Rights
Aug. 16, 1972  Blacks in the News Media
Dec. 15, 1971  Magazine Industry Shake-Out
Jul. 18, 1969  Competing Media
Sep. 02, 1964  Politicians and the Press
Dec. 04, 1963  Libel Suits and Press Freedom
Jan. 09, 1963  Newspaper Mergers
Dec. 20, 1961  Reading Boom: Books and Magazines
Dec. 02, 1959  Privileged Communications
Apr. 25, 1956  Newsprint Deficit
May 06, 1953  Government and the Press
Sep. 21, 1948  Press and State
Sep. 05, 1947  Newsprint Supply
Mar. 26, 1947  Facsimile Newspapers
Dec. 10, 1945  World Press Freedom
May 01, 1940  New Experiments in Newspaper-Making
Nov. 04, 1933  Press Freedom Under the Recovery Program
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Freedom of Information
International Law and Agreements
United Nations