Media Regulation

Des Freedman

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:
Media Regulation

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“Media regulation” refers to the process by which a range of specific, often legally binding, tools are applied to media systems and institutions to achieve established policy goals such as pluralism, diversity, competition, and freedom. Regulation consists of the deployment of formal statutory rules laid down by public authorities (for example, quotas, content requirements, or ownership restrictions) as well as more informal codes of conduct developed and implemented by media organizations in conjunction with the state. Media regulation is thus closely associated with media policy, the attempt by governments and other official decision-making bodies to foster certain types of media structure and behavior, and media governance, the full range of formal and informal mechanisms created in both governmental and nongovernmental settings that aim to organize media systems in particular ways. Regulation can be “positive” or “negative” in attempting, respectively, to promote particular objectives (for example, an obligation to broadcast news and current affairs) or to block “undesirable” content (for example, legal restrictions on what may be published or broadcast). Media regulation has traditionally been sector-specific; i.e., different rules have been imposed on the print and electronic media. However, with the development of digital technologies such as the Internet, sector-specific is increasingly being superseded by converged forms of regulation. Similarly, while regulation continues to operate primarily at the level of the nation-state, supranational regulatory bodies and international agreements are increasingly common. Regulation, therefore, involves the application of both legal and extra-legal, as well as national and international, instruments to media systems.

Article.  10401 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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