(freedom of speech) The right of any person to express their ideas or views without the threat of official censure. ‘Free speech’ is best construed as a generic or ‘umbrella’ shorthand term for a number of distinct freedoms (e.g. the freedom of the press, the freedom to participate in political demonstrations such as protest marches, the freedom to participate openly in political meetings, and (possibly) ‘artistic’ freedom from censorship to display and publish work which others may find offensive). The institutionalisation, and consequent legitimisation, of the freedom to speak is not by itself sufficient to create a right to free speech. Free speech is an inherent right which is rooted in human dignity and autonomy. But those values also give rise to other fundamental rights, including personal security, privacy, reputation, citizenship, and equality.

 

Chandler, Daniel - Munday, Rod (2011): Dictionary of Media and Communication. Oxford University Press. 163 p. See the Online Edition
Haworth, Alan (1998): Free speech. London ; New York : Routledge. 8, 11-12, 37 p.