Regulating the Changing Media: A Comparative Study

Regulating the Changing Media: A Comparative Study

Regulating the Changing Media: A Comparative Study

Regulating the Changing Media: A Comparative Study

Synopsis

This new work on media regulation analyses and compares developments and trends across both the telecommunications and the broadcasting sectors in several different states. Using national reports, based on a common template to ensure comparable data, the book examines the ability of the law and other regulatory techniques to influence such a rapidly changing area. It exposes clearly the regulatory choices that are being made to control the so-called 'new media', including the internet, as well as examining the methods used to govern the more conventional media. The general move in the media to replace industry-specific regulations with competition law, and the extent to which self-regulation is increasingly employed by the various industries and how this is underpinned by statutory support is discussed in depth. The book looks at the regulatory systems in force in a whole range of countries, from members of the European Union, to Australia and the US, and Eastern Europe. The roles of the various European Institutions in media regulation are also examined. States' approaches to a wide variety of matters are looked at, from recent copyright developments to privacy and election laws The problems and success of these various alternative approaches are then analysed.

Excerpt

This book is the outcome of a research project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (grant no L126251021) as part of its Media Economics and Media Culture Research Programme. We hope that it will contribute to the growing body of literature on the 'new' media in several ways. Firstly, it provides a 'snapshot' of media developments in a number of widely different countries at a time of great media change. The coverage is (unless otherwise indicated) as at the end of October 1997, although in places it has proved possible to incorporate some particularly important later events. Secondly, we have suggested possible ways in which the regulation of the media may develop to take into account these new developments; we regard the view that the changing media will make regulation redundant as profoundly mistaken, although this does not mean that future regulation will simply replicate that of the past. Thirdly, two of us are academic lawyers and we are particularly interested in the future role of law in such regulation; again we do not accept that we shall witness 'the end of law' but it is likely that legal intervention will also be different in the new media world.

We would like to make a number of important acknowledgements. Firstly, we thank the Economic and Social Research Council for funding this work, and in particular the Director of the Media Economics and Media Culture Programme, Professor Simon Frith, for his support. We would also like to thank the Faculty of Law and Financial Studies at the University of Glasgow for some financial support in order to permit brief continuation of work after the Research Council funding had ended.

The project administrator and secretary was Gill Kane, and we are most grateful for her contribution without which the project would certainly have descended into chaos. We are also grateful to our national reporters who have contributed chapters to this book for all their work and for the timely completion of the reports. The European Audiovisual Observatory in Strasbourg, and in particular Ad van Loon, offered help to us in many valuable ways, including hosting a meeting of the contributors and this proved most valuable in completing the project. Support has also been given in a number of ways by Christophe Poirel in the Council of Europe, and we are particularly grateful to the staff of the European Commission whom we interviewed in the course of our work. We would also like to thank the contributors at our conference held in Glasgow in June 1997. Finally we would like to thank Tom Riley for general support and for his agreement to contribute a Foreword to this book.

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