Is a Free Press a blessing?

As I explained here I'm following Christian Aid's 'Count Your Blessings' Calendar through Lent, which begins today. The first few days have a justice focus. According to the 'Count Your Blessings' message today 
"only 15% of the world's population live in countries that enjoy a free press"
I'm don't know what the research is behind this figure, but it is a sobering one. One could debate endlessly exactly what is meant by a free press. (How free is a press owned and controlled by a very few powerful individuals or conglomerates?) But I think I have to acknowledge I live in a country where the press is not owned and controlled by the government or generally subject to government censorship. So I am one of the blessed 15%. Access to a free press is a blessing. It is one means by which governments and powerful institutions can be called to account and people informed about what is going on in the world. 

The 'Count Your Blessings' Lent programme suggests I donate 10p for every newspaper I have chosen to read this week. I've only read 2 so that's 20p. But am I cheating? I read a lot of newspaper articles on-line (for free) during the week - how do I calculate that?


  1. You don't! Otherwise you'd have to start counting all the TV news headlines you'd heard. Not possible I think.
    I had intended to try something similar but I think I'll have to do a rethink and will blog about it when I've come to a decision.
    This really is not as easy as it sounds is it?

  2. If I didn't count at least one or two online articles, I'd give nothing under this heading, as I never buy a newspaper, Nancy. I think sometimes we just have to use our own judgement about this kind of resource material.

  3. Ray - I think you are right. Anyway, life's too short to bother with such detailed counting.
    Perpetua - does your lifestyle mean you escape from free newspapers too?

    1. Oh yes, Nancy. Living two miles outside the village has its advantages. :-)


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