Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The media-as-a-constitutional-component concept : a new theory for media freedom in the age of citizen journalism
Author: Coe, Peter James
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 01 Nov 2024
Access from Institution:
This thesis contends that the law's treatment of media freedom as a normative concept needs to be modernised. In doing so it draws upon the notion that there are two categories of free speech: (i) the personal right to freedom of expression; and (ii) media freedom. It argues that the latter ought to be treated differently to the former. However, in the current categorisation of who belongs to which group, there is a gap, as there is a definable category of actors who are, as citizen journalists, effectively, 'media', but are not recognised as such. This is problematic, as citizen journalists, facilitated by social media, are no longer an outlier of free speech. Rather, they are central to how we receive and impart information and ideas. Consequently, it offers a new workable definition of media based on a 'media-as-a-constitutional-component concept'. This concept is underpinned by social responsibility theory (as opposed to libertarianism which, it is argued, is an inappropriate foundation for modern media speech despite it being the de facto communication theory for online speech) and the argument from democratic self-governance, which provides the appropriate framework to facilitate this modernisation and 'plug the gap'. Throughout the thesis, a comparative approach is taken to the formulation and application of the concept, and to the legal challenges presented by citizen journalism that it attempts to meet, including the media's standards of behaviour and norms of public discourse, anonymous and pseudonymous speech, contempt of court, defamation and regulation. Ultimately, the thesis concludes by setting out principles for a new regulatory framework that would effectively capture citizen journalists.
Supervisor: Wragg, Paul ; Mullis, Alastair Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available