Brian Kappenberg's Nobody Speak

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Brian Kappenberg’s twenty seventeen Netflix documentary, Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, embodies many concepts and ideas related to the study of communications. When watching this film, two aspects of communication studies, in particular, stands out: media and the democratization of content, as well as the public sphere. Specifically, with reference to media and the democratization of content, did Gawker’s defeat mark a loss to freedom of speech and ultimately a loss to open and democratic media ecology systems? and do I agree that Gawker should be labeled as the ‘high school mean girl’ of online journalism? On the other hand, in relation to the public sphere, were Gawker’s actions provoked by a commitment to public service or was…show more content…
In the documentary, Hulk Hogan, formally known as Terry Bollea, ignited a high-stakes legal battle that pit privacy rights against Gawker Media after they publicly released his sex tape without his consent. The lawsuit resulted in Gawker Media’s defeat, ultimately causing the publisher to become bankrupt. The Gawker-Bollea trial attracted a great deal of public attention. With that being said, many debates and discussions arose about this issue, particularly about issues regarding the democratization of content. During the lectures, Dr. Mincheva states, “democracy requires informed citizens. No governing body can be expected to operate well without knowledge of the issues on which it is to rule, and rule by the people entails that the people should be informed.” (2017). Mass media plays an important role in informing citizens, which is a key element in promoting a democratic system. Gawker Media did exactly just that. They shared information that they considered “newsworthy” to contribute to the knowledge of the people. With that being said, their main objective was to promote a representative democracy which, in my opinion, justifies their actions. With this in mind, Gawker’s defeat assuredly marks a loss of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is “the right of any individual to speak freely on matters of concern without fear of retribution” (Lorimer, Gasher, & Skinner, 2016, p.378). If freedom of speech entails that you can speak openly on issues without having to suffer consequences, then Gawker’s defeat was indeed a loss of freedom of speech. Publicly exposing Terry Bollea’s intimate video resulted to Gawker’s
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