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The Quest for Free Press and Expression in Africa: Identifying the Lessons and Challenges and Lessons that can be Learned from Somaliland

At first glance, it is likely important to delineate by what exactly do we mean two separate but too closely interrelated concepts: the “free press” and “free expression”? According to the media related literatures, the first is described as the “right to publish newspapers, magazines, and other mass communications without governmental restriction and interference or prior censorship”. While the second is defined as the “right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing, and other forms of communication without deliberately causing harm to other’s character and/or reputation by false or misleading statements that have the potential to affect other people’s lives” (Raphael 2001). Therefore, the first is regarded as an important component of the second concept. Thus, freedom of speech and expression is vital in a democratic society and it is in everyone’s interests that need to be preserved or upheld.

Nasir M. Ali