What Is the Authoritarian Press Theory and What Are Some Examples?

The authoritarian press theory states that the press is under the government's control and that it serves to make it look good. One example of this is the press during the 1990s in Uganda, where journalists could face imprisonment for asking questions that countered the state's policies.

An authoritarian press does not question the state's authority. While journalists are free to report, they only produce broadcasts and articles that paint the state in a positive light. This theory promotes the idea that challenging the state is bad for the country's morale.

In attempts to boost the government's image, this type of press engages in censorship. This means there is no freedom of speech, as the state dictates what the press can publish.

One example of this is the press under Adolf Hitler. In addition to controlling what the press printed, Hitler introduced propaganda to ensure it spread his message. Another example is Uganda and Zambia during the 1990s, where journalists would find themselves in prison for asking difficult questions during interviews. A more modern example is the press in North Korea, which often misreports information on events from the outside world, and rarely allows residents to view non-North Korean resources. In addition, there are countries leaving authoritarian rule. For example, Burma began relaxing its press rules in the 21st century.