Glossary: Media and freedom of Expression

Terminology is important. This glossary features the most often used and sometimes misunderstood words, acronyms, and phrases relating to Media and freedom of expression.

The changing or the silencing or prevention of speech, writing, publishing etc. that is deemed to be negative for the “common good” according to whoever controls the censor. Censorship is often used in dictatorships to control the media and what information they can share with the public.

The legal right to control and produce or publish original photographs, a book, play, film or a piece of music,

The circumstances within which something happens or exists, and that can help to explain it. Without context, a media message, for example, a photo or a headline, can be misunderstood.

Government media
Media such as TV and radio that is controlled, owned, and/or funded by a government. Also: state media, state-owned media.

Hate speech
Speech and expression that degrades a person or persons because of who they are, or who someone thinks they are.

Independent media
Media that is free of government or corporate influence.

Media and information literacy
Skills that enable a person access, analyze and reflect on media content, and create their own media.

Media monopoly
When the control of the media, or the market for a particular type of media, lies with one person or organization, preventing competition.

An idea, video, image, etc. that is often humorous and spread rapidly on the internet:

Information that can be true or false and is spread to convince an audience. It is often politically motivated and comes from governments or ideological movements. The lines between propaganda and advertising as well as publicity/PR, are often blurred.

Media that uses irony, sarcasm, and ridicule to make fun of and also criticize parts of society. Satire can become misinformation if people misinterpret it as factual. Many ‘memes’ use satire to make a point or get laughs.

When media includes all different types of people, for example in news, films, politics, or sport, it can be said that many different groups are ‘represented’.

Social media
Websites and applications where users can access, create and share content on digital devices.

Someone or something from which one obtains information. It can be anything from a person that is interviewed to an organization, a book or scientific paper.

An idea of, and a way of describing a particular type of person or thing, or a person or thing thought to represent such an idea, in an oversimplified and often negative way. 

A person who posts videos on a blog or a social media platform on a regular basis.

Basis for the definitions in this glossary come from many sources including Claire Wardle: Information Disorder: The Essential Glossary, Harvard Kennedy School, Shorenstein Center; Google Internet Awesome; Iis Internetstiftelsen, Sweden.