Access to Media
This entry concerns an individual's right to speak through privately owned media and the availability to the public of diverse views. It reviews the development of the concept of “access” to media and how that concept applies to print and electronic media. The increasing opportunities for journalists and others to contribute to what some call the “marketplace of ideas” raise a host of complex legal issues as well as concerns important to democratic deliberation. The phrases “right to know” or “right to access media” do not appear in the U.S. Constitution, but they are not empty slogans. The Supreme Court, Congress, and federal regulators have all recognized the concept of listener or viewer rights and the importance of access to diverse sources of information in the large body of court decisions regarding the First Amendment, as well as in legislation and regulation requiring speaker access to certain media. While this ...