Who are the news media

The Law Commission is discussing at public address the issue of who are the news media, and what regulation should there be of the media. You can comment over there and your views will help influence their final report. One extract:

In chapter 4 of our Issues Paper we attempt to answer these questions by posing another, more fundamental, question: what is the function of the news media? What is it that distinguishes the news media from other types of publishers?

These questions are the subject of a very large and divergent academic literature which we cannot traverse here. But it may be worth re-stating the orthodox view that suggests the key functions of the “Press” in a liberal democracy are to:

* act as an independent watchdog on government and other seats of power;

* represent the public (for example in Parliament and the courts );

* disseminate information to the public;

* provide a forum for debate and the formation and expression of public opinion.

You can also make a formal submission to the Law Commission.

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