LASICS .::. Open Conference Systems, IAMCR 2010: Communication and Citizenship

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‘Freedom of the press’: India and the Empire/Commonwealth Press Union, 1940-50

chandrika kaul

Last modified: 2010-07-05


The author aims to identify and analyse in the first instance, those key developments which contributed to a resurgence of international debate over freedom of the press in the aftermath of the Second World War. One of the prime foci will be the Empire/Commonwealth Press Union and its post-war conferences at London (1946) and Ottawa (1950) respectively. Another, and especially critical in the case of India, will be on the impact of decolonisation and the legacy of British imperial ideology and praxis. It will be argued that the renewed prominence given to issues of press freedom at these gatherings was not only a response to censorship and war-time changes, but reflected the onset of a new world order. As an analysis of India’s position on the issue of press freedom will confirm, the role of the EPU was changing in a period of rapid decolonisation, while international developments such as the Cold War and the formation of the United Nations were encouraging new attitudes and political affiliations.

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