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Access to the Media

Samuel A. Terilli, Jr.


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Access to the media encompasses the efforts and rights of individuals and groups to represent their views through the pages or airtime of established media entities – private or public. It should not be confused with access to information (→  Freedom of Information ; Right to Know ) or even the related question of open-access television (→  Public Access Television ). The question of access to the media typically arises when a political candidate wants advertising or free airtime or when a person, business, or group demands time (or space) to reply to a news report or present a competing analysis (→  Right of Reply ). Rights of reply constitute a particular form of access to the media. More broadly, the access-to-the-media question asks whether society can or should force a publisher or broadcaster to devote space or time to diverse subjects and viewpoints. The →  Internet and other technological advances may in time lessen the practical importance of such access rights by facilitating new forms of communication, ranging from blogs (→  Blogger ) to social media (→  Media Content and Social Networks ), and direct access to audiences by diverse speakers (→  E-Democracy ). Whether the public should have narrow, broad, or even any access-to-the-media rights is a question on which free expression advocates often disagree ( Barendt 2005 ). The opponents of mandated access see government ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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