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Press freedom contributes to quality of life

December 3rd, 2012

Recent connections have been made between freedom of press and happiness by Edson Tandoc Jr., a doctoral student in the School of Journalism, using information from a 2010 Gallup Poll, rating quality of life, and Freedom House’s Press Index, rating freedom of press. Tandoc has found that press freedom directly predicts life satisfaction all over the world, due to “diversity in content” and “sources of their choosing.” It has also been found that those granted freedom of press enjoy better environmental quality and higher levels of human development. This research exemplifies the efforts of Mizzou Advantage by reaching two initiatives: Media of the Future and One Health, One Medicine.

Story by Mizzou Weekly

Freedom of the press is viewed by many as a cornerstone of democracy. But can it help improve people’s lives and make them happy?

Researchers at the University of Missouri may have found that citizens of countries with press freedom tend to be much happier than citizens of countries without free presses. Edson Tandoc Jr., a doctoral student in the School of Journalism, says that press freedom directly predicts life satisfaction across the world.

“We already know that having reliable, objective news sources can benefit democracy,” Tandoc said. “But in this study, we found that press freedom also benefits communities by helping improve the overall quality of life of citizens and, in the process, by also making them happier.

“Citizens of countries without a free press are forced to rely on the government for information,” he continued, “when what people really want is diversity in content where they are free to get the information they want from the source of their choosing.” More…