Rethinking Media Plurality Regulation: Promoting Exposure Diversity and Controlling the Power of New Online Selection intermediaries

Songsujaritkul, Warut (2018) Rethinking Media Plurality Regulation: Promoting Exposure Diversity and Controlling the Power of New Online Selection intermediaries. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Due to the Internet and the convergence of technology, the media landscape has dramatically changed. The new problem of online media network is no longer the lack of information but rather the overload of information and how to find the information. This is because, with the abundance of information, what people see is not equal to what made available. The information-overload can result in narrowing the range of people’s attention to concentrate around a few preference sources. From the media law scholars’ perspective, the significant question now is whether people choose media contents diversely. The notion of media plurality has shifted from the concern about the diversity of available source and content to diversity of choices people make and diversity of actual content consumed by individuals, or the so-called ‘exposure diversity’. Since people cannot consume all information presented to them, they rely on new ‘online selection intermediaries’ (i.e. search engine and social media) to assist them to find relevant information from infinite information. As a result, there is a shift of power from traditional media to new ‘online selection intermediaries’ which act as a gatekeeper to access to information. Selection intermediaries consequently have a significant influence on exposure diversity. Selection intermediaries therefore need to be regulated for the ultimate purpose of exposure diversity. However, the current existing laws have not moved from the design to regulate traditional media and to ensure a wide range of source and viewpoints available. They are still based on the perspective of the time when there were scarcity of analogue spectrum and high barriers to enter to media market. Consequently, the existing laws are inadequate to regulate the selection intermediaries to achieve diversity of viewpoints exposed to citizen. This thesis, therefore, discusses that the media regulation should be reformed to regulate selection intermediaries to encourage diversity of viewpoints actually exposed to people. This thesis proposes the appropriate approaches to regulate these new selection intermediaries for the achievement of exposure diversity.

This thesis is a correct and up to date statement of the relevant law as of 1 August 2018.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 30 May 2019 12:03
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 12:03


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