Why can we blog?
People blog because it is their way of "speaking their minds" through the web, and sharing it with others.
Blogging is an exercise. It is an exercise of one's constitutional right to free speech.
To be able to freely speak one's mind and express, is one that is guaranteed by our constitution.
Blogging thereofre is part and parcel of that plethora of rights protected by the constitution.
Section 4 ARticle III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that "No law shall be passed abriding the freedom of speech, of expression , or of the press, or the right of the people peacably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."
To a very large extent, you and I can blog because this action is protected by the constitution.
According to the constitution, the government is prohibited from passing a law that would abrige free speech.
Naturally, this freedom, freedom of speech, like other rights, is not absolute.
There are types of speech which is not protected (blogs that are libelous, obcene, and those that cannot be protected because it endangers the nation's survival or security). But we will discuss this later.
If you notice the section of the bill of rights I have cited above specifically mentions three manifestatons of freedom: speech, expression, and press.
When you blog, are you exercising the right to free speech, or free press?
Or is there a difference?
There are significant differences which I think you will have to take note as a blogger, and I will discuss this later on.
When I was doing my thesis on defamation, one authority said there's gotta be a difference between the right to free speech and free press, otherwise the fundamental law would be engaged in "constitutional redundancy" which is not the object of the framers of the constitution.
The right to free press, generally is the right to speak about political matters and the political state of a nation.
The right to free speech meanwhile, is generally non-political speech like commercial speech.
Another distinction between free speech and free press is that the right to free press is generally exercised by the members of the press.
Those newspaper guys who write about the political state of their societies, those are the people who invoke the right to a free press.
Those engaged in free speech are generally those who not belong to that catgeory of writers or bloggers exercising the freedom of the press.
So what are you? A blogger exercising the right to a free press, or a blogger exercising your right to a free speech?
That is why we encounter questions like: Are bloggers journalists?
What have these distinctions got anything to do with you as a blogger?
There is some animal called the "hierarchy of rights."
I'll discuss this in my next web log.
See you later...
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