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Table of Contents

Media Reform: An Overview

Des Freedman, University of London - Goldsmiths College
Jonathan A. Obar, University of Toronto - Faculty of Information, Michigan State University - College of Communication Arts and Sciences


LAW, POLITICS & THE MEDIA eJOURNAL
Sponsored by Institute for the Study of the Judiciary,
Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University

"Media Reform: An Overview" Free Download

DES FREEDMAN, University of London - Goldsmiths College
Email:
JONATHAN A. OBAR, University of Toronto - Faculty of Information, Michigan State University - College of Communication Arts and Sciences
Email:

Media reform is a great and formidable challenge. Across international contexts, reformers are inspired by what the late C. Edwin Baker referred to as the democratic distribution principle for communicative power: ‘a claim that democracy implies as wide as practical a dispersal of power within public discourse’ (Baker, 2007, p. 7). The challenge is made manifest in battles over the future of investigative journalism, media ownership, spectrum management, speech rights, broadband access, network neutrality, the surveillance apparatus, digital literacy and many others waged in pursuit of the normative ideals at the heart of Baker’s vision. At the same time, those committed to media reform confront formidable challenges: entrenched commercial interests and media conglomerates; sometimes powerful, sometimes disorganized and sometimes neoliberal governments; a general public often disenfranchised, digitally illiterate and not focused on issues of media reform; and always, the uphill battle of organization, mobilization and influence that is the work of any activist.

In light of these significant challenges, the central question addressed by this volume is: what strategies might be utilized to overcome these obstacles in the pursuit of media reform? The chapters included in this volume aim to present and analyze successful strategies that have helped to advance media reform efforts in a variety of countries and contexts throughout the world.

The remainder of this introductory chapter includes a working definition of media reform in light of the many challenges we currently face, and concludes with an overview of the chapters included in the volume.

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About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University.


Legal systems operate in a complex environment of principle, political pressure, and media coverage. The goal of the Law, Politics, and the Media subject eJournal is to distribute abstracts of working papers and articles that promote a more integrated understanding of law, courts, and their environment. To this end, the eJournal seeks scholarship that addresses any combination of legal, political, and media-related themes in the analysis of legal institutions, beliefs, and practices. The eJournal is open to work from the social sciences, the humanities, and the legal academy. Papers and articles that focus on the United States, as well as scholarship that is comparative or international in scope, are welcome.

Editor: Keith James Bybee, Syracuse University

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Directors

LSN SUBJECT MATTER EJOURNALS

BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: bblack@northwestern.edu

RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: rgilson@leland.stanford.edu

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Advisory Board

Law, Politics & the Media eJournal

LYLE DENNISTON
Reporter, SCOTUSblog

CHARLES G. GEYH
John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington

TONY MAURO
Supreme Court Correspondent, Legal Times/Incisive Media

MICHAEL MCCANN
Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for Advancement of Citizenship; Director, Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center, University of Washington - Department of Political Science

AUSTIN SARAT
William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College