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Access to Audiences as a First Amendment Right: Its Relevance and Implications for Electronic Media Policy

41 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2012  

Philip M. Napoli

Duke University

Sheea T. Sybblis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 15, 2005

Abstract

When the issue of speakers’ rights of access arises in media regulation and policy contexts, the focus typically is on the concept of speakers’ rights of access “to the media,” or “to the press.” This right usually is premised on the audience’s need for access to diverse sources and content. In contrast, in many non-mediated contexts, the concept of speakers’ rights of access frequently is defined in terms of the speaker’s own First Amendment right of access to audiences. This paper explores the important distinctions between these differing interpretations of a speaker’s access rights and argues that the concept of a speaker’s right of access to audiences merits a more prominent position in electronic media regulation and policy. This paper then explores the implications of such a shift in perspective for media regulation and policy-making.

Suggested Citation

Napoli, Philip M. and Sybblis, Sheea T., Access to Audiences as a First Amendment Right: Its Relevance and Implications for Electronic Media Policy (August 15, 2005). TPRC 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2120245

Philip M. Napoli (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Sheea T. Sybblis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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