Over the past two decades, there have been a series of events that have brought into question the concept and practice of free expression.
In this new book, Winston provides an account of the current state of freedom of expression in the western world. He analyses all the most pertinent cases of conflict during the last two decades - including the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the incident of the Danish cartoons and offended celebrities - examining cultural, legal and journalistic aspects of each case.
A Right to Offend offers us a deeper understanding of the increasingly threatening environment in which free speech operates and is defended, as well as how it informs and is central to journalism practice and media freedom more generally. It is important reading for all those interested in freedom of expression in the twenty-first century.
Every generation needs to be reminded, in George Orwell's words, that "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear". This message is even more important in our globalized and networked world, in which nearly everyone, it seems, can speak and be heard. As usual, Brian Winston is an ideal guide to the past as well as the present and even the future challenges faced by those who are devoted to preserving this most basic human right. -- Larry Gross * USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism * Brian Winston's A Right to Offend provides two important contributions to this fraught and often under-researched debate. He brings a welcome international scope of his inquiry, guiding the reader through the differing legal systems of, say, France and the U.S. But it is his frequent recourse to history that is most instructive...A highly readable and informative compendium on freedom of expression. -- John Kampfner, former chief executive of Index on Censorship * The British Journalism Review * The book is no slim polemic, either, but a meticulously researched 400-page demolition of arguments for the closing down of speech, not only in the press, but also online and, thankfully, in wider society, too. Winston does a sterling job of placing Hackgate and Leveson in a sound historical and philosophical context that includes John Milton, Salman Rushdie, the internet and everything in between. -- Jason Walsh * Sp!ked Review of Books * Winston's views here are more than mere academic ruminations * Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly * This encyclopedic account of 'the long, and often bloody, history of the struggle' for free speech aims to dispel 'the shadow of the fatwa' that spread from Salman Rushdie, and all those involved in the publication of The Satanic Verses, until it covered every writer and academic. -- Dennis Hayes, University of Derby * Times Higher Education Supplement *
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 5th June 2012
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 16.2 x 3.7
Weight (kg): 0.82
Edition Number: 1