Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Going the Way of the Steam Engine' - The Institutional Press, The Internet and The Paradox of The Press Clause

From the abstract:  "This short essay considers recent debates about the Press clause against the backdrop of the Internet’s influence on the dissemination of information. In the last two years scholars have engaged in a lively debate about how to define “the Press” in an Internet age, and how the difficulties in reaching a coherent, stable definition affect press claims for constitutional protection. Space limitations preclude a comprehensive analysis of those debates, let alone a solution. However, the essay does offer some preliminary thoughts about the current debate, and suggests some tentative conclusions that can frame ongoing research and discussion. In particular, it suggests that press claims for protection under the Clause and the Internet’s technological transformation of communications combine to make it increasingly important for decision-makers to define the press. It also suggests that this definitional task is best undertaken as a combined effort of legislatures, with their greater responsiveness and line-drawing flexibility, and courts, reviewing such definitions for compliance with the basic principles underlying the Clause." Read more