Freedom of expression and criticism of the government or other institutions is valued if it coincides with their perceptions or preferences. In contrast, this same respect for freedom changes if criticisms are made against institutions or even ideological currents that one sympathizes with. If we take the argument to the extreme, we could say that the motto for this group of citizens is: "freedom of expression is great as long as it is used to say whatever confirms my beliefs and preferences".
Some of this has been evident in some of the criticisms of the Agreement for the Informative Coverage of Violence [Iniciativa México], which seem more motivated by the people and the institutions that signed than by the content of the agreement and above all by the possibility of demanding all of us signees to abide by the provisions. It must not be that we demand certain things and that when they are done (with those with whom we disagree) then we criticize these same things. In consequence, it is clear that the freedom of expression and its merits will always be with those who are on my side and never those opposed. But as Arafat said, peace is made not with friends but with enemies. The great compromises that change a country are achieved when different sensibilities and editorial lines agree that it is prudent to follow new paths for the coverage of topics related to public insecurity.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Freedom of Expression in Mexico
A few weeks ago, Leonardo Curzio noted that only 38 percent of Mexicans expressed support for freedom to criticize of the government in all circumstances, while 58 percent said either that it depends on the circumstances or that the government shouldn't be criticized, period: