Friday, May 22, 2009

Libertarain Theory

The core doctrine of libertarianism begins with the recognition that people have certain natural rights and that deprivation of these rights is immoral. Among these natural rights are the right to personal autonomy and property rights, and the right to the utilization of previously unused resources. These two basic assumptions form the foundation of all libertarian ideals.

Rooted in this theory is the belief held by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, that if man exercised reason, the majority, as a group, would make sound decisions even if the individual citizens might not.

Thomas Jefferson said “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers without government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them “ it assumes that the media will work well without government interference. This information is found in the four theories of the Press, published in 1956.

Social Responsibility

Social Responsibility theory is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization, individual has a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be negative in that it is a responsibility to refrain from acting (resistance stance) or it can be "positive," meaning there is a responsibility to act (proactive stance). While primarily associated with business and governmental practices, activist groups and local communities can also be associated with social responsibility, not only business or governmental entities


1. The purposes of theories are to inform the publics or society.
2. All another purpose is to entertain and sell.
3. They both serve as watchdogs where they monitor government performance and sometimes criticize some of the government policies which will turn to affect the society as a whole.
4. Both theories ownership are private but libertarian is chiefly private.

Differences between the libertarian and social responsibility theory

Libertarian theory

1. They work on discovering the truth and also checking on the government.

2. Libertarian theory does only objective reporting.

3. Libertarian theory assumes that the media will work well without government interference.

4. Libertarian theory does not entertain government control or the media.

Social responsibility theory

1. They raise conflict to the place of discussion.

2. Social responsibility goes beyond objective reporting to interpretive reporting.

3. Someone who believes in the social responsibility theory believes that members of the press will do their jobs well only if periodically reminded about their duties.

4. Social responsibility theory advocates government’s oversight for media that do not act in society’s interest

Article was written and organised by:
Nii Ogbamey Tetteh
DCSA 2010105


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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).


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