Editorial: Back off

POSTED: 08/27/13 12:49 PM

VVD-parliamentarian André Bosman has jumped on Minister Maurice Lake’s initiative against yellow journalism with questions to Kingdom Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk that will meet a predictable fate: St. Maarten is an autonomous country and it will have to deal with its own affairs. That will be the gist of the answer we’ll hear in a couple of weeks.

Any measures that infringe on the freedom of the press obviously do not have our support. The government has no business regulating the media in this sense, especially because this freedom has already been regulated by law.

Journalists or publishers that break those laws expose themselves to lawsuits and in some cases to criminal prosecution. That ought to be enough.

There is no need to tame wildcards in the media field simply because they write something that is obviously incorrect and that does not sit well with the government.

We applaud Minister Lake’s idea to encourage bloggers to reveal their identity, even though we do not see how this could be enforced via legislation. For the rest we’d say: back off.

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