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What is journalism? The paradox of media privilege

Tambini, Damian (2021) What is journalism? The paradox of media privilege. European Human Rights Law Review, 2021 (5). 523 - 539. ISSN 1361-1526

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Privileges that aim to enhance journalist and media freedom can also undermine it if their administration necessitates gatekeeping of the status of journalist. This article examines this paradox of privilege on the basis of a selective survey of three areas of law: protection of journalistic sources, defamation, and protection of journalists. It argues that there exists a “privilege paradox” whereby journalism and the media need special protection in order to fulfil their democratic function, but that awarding of this privilege can create vectors of control through gatekeeper control of access to the profession. The article shows that journalism privilege can be based on the status of the person of the journalist, or on the genre or activity of journalism through various forms of judicial discretion and also accreditation. There are numerous examples with respect to the award of privileges that incorporate protections for media freedom. As journalism privilege is redefined, a functional notion of journalism will be required, but this is not sufficient for all journalistic and media privileges.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Thomson Reuters and Contributors.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 10:45
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:31

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