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Media Freedom in the Age of Citizen Journalism

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Media Freedom in the Age of Citizen Journalism

9781800371255 Edward Elgar Publishing
Peter Coe, School of Law, University of Reading, UK
Publication Date: December 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80037 125 5 Extent: c 336 pp
This timely book explores how the internet and social media have permanently altered the media landscape, enabling new actors to enter the marketplace, and changing the way that news is generated, published and consumed. It examines the importance of citizen journalists, whose newsgathering and publication activities have made them crucial to public discourse and central actors in the communication revolution. Investigating how the internet and social media have enabled citizen journalism to flourish, and what this means for the traditional institutional press, the public sphere, and media freedom, the book demonstrates how communication and legal theory are applied in practice.

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This timely book explores how the internet and social media have permanently altered the media landscape, enabling new actors to enter the marketplace and changing the way that news is generated, published and consumed. It examines the importance of citizen journalists, whose newsgathering and publication activities have made them crucial to public discourse and central actors in the communication revolution. Investigating how the internet and social media have enabled citizen journalism to flourish, and what this means for the traditional institutional press, the public sphere, and media freedom, the book demonstrates how communication and legal theory are applied in practice.

Peter Coe advances a concept of ‘media as a constitutional component’, which distinguishes media from non-media actors based on the functions they perform, rather than institutional status, and uses this to provide a conceptual framework that recognises modern newsgathering and publication methods. This interdisciplinary book analyses the legal challenges created across a range of topical issues, including online anonymity and pseudonymity, defamation, privacy and public interest, contempt of court and press regulation.

Media Freedom in the Age of Citizen Journalism will be a key resource for students, scholars, practitioners and policy-makers of information and media law, constitutional administrative law, communication and media studies, journalism and philosophy.
Critical Acclaim
‘Dr Coe's meticulous and insightful research represents an important and timely contribution to the debate on press regulation. Policy-makers, commentators, and scholars should listen to what he has to say.’
– Paul Wragg, University of Leeds, UK

‘Concerns about media freedom are growing at the same time as non-institutional media become more important. This insightful and thoughtful book explores the concept of media freedom, its rationale and its justifications and provides an account of it which integrates citizen journalism. It is an important contribution to the scholarship on the concept of media freedom.’
– David Rolph, The University of Sydney, Australia

‘Media law and free speech scholars usually talk either about the fundamental issues of media freedom or the challenges posed by new technology. This volume deals with both. Coe’s book not only shakes the “dead dogmas” (to quote John Stuart Mill) of the legal notion of media freedom, but also shows how these doctrines need to be re-interpreted for the 21st Century.’
– András Koltay, University of Public Service and Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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