Oxford 2010: How free should free speech be?

Speakers

  • Catherine Bennett (The Observer, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2009)
  • John Kampfner (director of Index on Censorship, author of Freedom for Sale, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2010)
  • Geoffrey Robertson QC (lawyer, broadcaster, author)
  • Chaired by Albert Scardino (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former Orwell Prize judge)

The first of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010

‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’; ‘The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment’; ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.’ Orwell was a staunch proponent of freedom of all kinds, especially of speech and of the press. But – with criticisms of the media flourishing, preachers of hate making headlines, the anonymity of the internet, and journalists complaining about libel laws – how free is free speech, and what should the limits be?

  • George Orwell: The Freedom of the Press
  • The Orwell Prize: What can’t you speak about in the 21st Century?
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

Video