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Access to the Media

Samuel A. Terilli, Jr.


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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