from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. freedom to print and publish without official supervision.
- n. the free right of publishing books, pamphlets, or papers, without previous restraint or censorship, subject only to punishment for libelous, seditious, or morally pernicious matters.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The Polignac Ministry, thinking the liberty of the press dangerous, suppressed it violently, by royal authority alone.
Hence it is jealous and suspicious, and all opposition to it is fatal; so that, to use an argument somewhat similar to Hume's on the liberty of the press in republics, the French possess a sort of freedom which does not admit of enjoyment; and, in order to boast that they have a popular constitution, are obliged to support every kind of tyranny.
They seem, indeed, willing to allow it, provided restrictions can be devised which may prevent calumny from reaching their own persons; but as that cannot easily be atchieved, they not only contend against the liberty of the press in practice, but have hitherto refused to sanction it by decree, even as a principle.
As I hovered deferentially at the edge of the gathering I remembered with relish how Sir Jack, as he then was, had hit her great newspaper for record damages arising out of baseless allegations regarding his financial dealings, and how his triumphant vindication had in turn imposed a strain on our domestic bliss, with Penelope as per usual defending the sacred liberty of the press to besmirch whomever it chose, and Salvo siding with Sir Jack in consideration of his outspoken sympathy for the continent of Africa, and his determination to free its peoples from the triple curse of exploitation, corruption and disease, thereby putting it back on the table economically where it belongs.
[Footnote 1: Lord Byron had, it seems, acknowledged, on the preceding evening, his having remarked to Prince Blavrocordato that “if he were in his situation, he would have placed the press under a censor;” to which the Prince had replied, “No; the liberty of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution.”]
Bonaparte's first act in favour of the liberty of the press was to order the seizure of the pamphlet in which Camille Jordan had extolled the advantages of that measure.