The freedom of information facing the internet

Daniel Capodiferro Cubero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

© UNED. Revista de Derecho Político. The aim of this paper is to compare the constitutional and jurisprudential characterization of the freedom of information with the reality of its exercise in the Internet, where the classic legal solutions cannot be implemented directly because they are designed for an analogical communication developed by media, which used to work as the only channels of information and modulators of public opinion, putting citizens in a passive position with a minimum capacity to act. The new information technologies have broken the media monopoly, allowing anyone to become an active and participatory subject of a process that is no longer unidirectional, but articulated through a network where all the participants are receivers and creators of content, which poses new legal challenges that are particularly difficult to address. The communication regulations, designed for a specific context, is now facing a reality where its mechanisms of control, intended to protect fundamental rights against excessive interferences and the democratic system itself, are no longer effective considering that now communication is an individual process more than a social one. The premise of the journalistic information presented through a media that substantiated the privileged position of communicative freedoms as institutional guarantees with a reinforced protection is no longer fulfilled, so key questions now are whether the scope of individual freedom of information should be comparable to the professionals' one or what role should play journalists in the digital society. Subjects no longer need mass media for effective reporting. They simply have to get access to a specific technology to do so, which opens a new debate: if the public powers should guarantee the access to it and how. With regard to the protection of freedom of information in the Internet, it may be useful to focus attention on the training of the subject as a journalist to identify who possess certain knowledge of the technique and deontology and, therefore, is able to act in a responsible manner contributing to public debate in constructive terms. Likewise, concepts such as the veracity of information, which may also have a new application in relation to advertising, or the prohibition of prior censorship must be reconsidered to their implementation in the digital environment, since it does not seem appropriate to renounce them in digital communications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-737
JournalRevista de Derecho Politico
Issue number100
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Citizen journalism
  • Digital journalism
  • Freedom of information
  • Internet communication
  • New communications technology

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