What makes good governance? #6 in series: The media and free speech


Governance can sometimes be good for people and sometimes it can harm them. There are lots of different ways people can judge whether governance is good or bad. One of the ways people can judge whether governance is good is by thinking about how free they are to do certain things. Some say that if you can access any part of the internet, it can be an example of good governance, because you can see whatever information you like and no one tells you what you can or cannot read.

An example of improving access to the internet by those with governance is Facebook’s move to create free access to a simpler version of the internet for people with mobile phones across Sub-Saharan Africa. On another hand, a company called Liquid Telecom has put in cables to provide 15 nations in Africa with internet. These companies have provided basic internet access and people may say that these companies follow good governance. But of course there is still room to improve to help people even more.


Internet access and being free to access lots of information is connected to two important things. The media and free speech. The media is a word that applies to many different things. It is a general term that refers to organizations or objects that send out news to people. Mobile phones can be part of the media if you use them to read news or search the internet. Newspapers and books can be part of the news if they teach you about events that have happened recently.

If you find something that gives you news about people or a place, it is probably part of the media. The word media has a very similar meaning to the word communication. They are both about sending out news via the internet, broadcasting, publishing or direct speaking.


Free speech is a term that means that you are not told what you can or cannot say. If you can say whatever you like, one could argue that you have a large amount of free speech. Lots of governments have restrictions on what you can or cannot say. Often, it is speech that gets people to harm other people that is not allowed.

Being able to say what you think without being punished can be a good thing. It is good because your opinion on a subject can help others form different opinions. Different opinions can then lead to new ideas, which can help people improve the world around them. Being able to act on new ideas has led to many good inventions such as mobile phones.


Being able to access the media whenever you want and being able to form your own opinions can be good for governance. Having access to the internet means that people can stay informed on lots of different things. Having lots of information available can lead to new ideas. These new ideas can then lead to good business ideas or new ideas on education.

The media and free speech are important, because they help people improve their lives. By looking at how free people are to work on ideas this is just one way you can judge whether there is good or bad governance.


Not everyone thinks that the media and free speech make good governance. There are lots of different ways to decide what governance is and what makes it good or bad. People can decide for themselves what makes good governance by judging lots of different aspects of it.



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