Censorship: It's Very Hard to Do, Even in South Africa

In 1951 South Africa's Nationalist Party government ordered a sweeping investigation of the press. Party leaders were annoyed by the tendency of the country's English-language papers, which predominate, to criticize nearly everything the government did. A seven-member press commission was appointed to study such unseemly journalistic behavior, and it was granted a free hand and, ultimately, $500,000 to do the job. Last week, more than 13 years later, the commission finally dropped its findings before Parliament.

Dropped was the right word. The report ran to nine thick volumes, 4,262 pages, and more than 1,000,000 words. Obviously, the commissioners had taken...

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