Freedom of Speech vs. Freedom of the Press
Apr. 3rd 2019 – Dec. 15th 2019
Freedom of speech is a basic human right. Article 19 of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” explicitly guarantees the right to free speech in recognition of its cornerstone importance. Furthermore, freedom of the press is an institutional basic right that ensures the media’s ability to fully perform their role of government supervision. Allowing the media to operate independently and resist outside interference, especially from the government, is vital to the proper functioning of a democracy.
Since 2017, to commemorate every April 7th "Freedom of Speech Day", the National Human Rights Museum has been holding two special exhibitions: “100% Freedom of Speech: Special Exhibition on Political Magazines and Opposition Movements” and “The Days of Silence”.
In 2019, these events will focus on the theme of “Free Press”, presenting the lives of journalists who were subjected to censorship and persecution during the authoritarian era. When deprived of freedom of speech and personal freedom, journalists can’t be expected to properly supervise the government, prevent an abuse of power, and perform their institutional role.
30 years after the end of Mr. Cheng Nan-Jung’s struggle to obtain the right for complete freedom of speech, we hope that these exhibitions will help a larger number of Taiwanese people to understand the importance of protecting the freedom of press, as well as to appreciate the value of free speech.