Komunikaciniai teisės žinoti ir laisvės informuoti aspektai
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The discussion of the communicational aspects of the freedom of information may be related to the most important traditions of communication research, that is, semiotics and the so-called “process” school. This would enable distinguishing quantitative and qualitative aspects of the freedom of information, and creating a coordinate system for the analysis and evaluation of the attempts to limit the freedom of media. It seems that the dependence on quantitative principles of the freedom of information in a so-called marketplace of ideas undermines the importance of society’s qualitative principles of information spread and disturbs the fragile balance between the right to know and the freedom of information. Inevitably, the following question arises: who, in the marketplace of ideas, will guarantee the right of a consumer to receive quality news? Democratic traditions condemn any censorship attempts. Do the changing role of the media and its place in the modern society require the expansion of the concept of the freedom of media? Perhaps, along with concepts such as the freedom of speech and the freedom of information, the discussion should also include considerations about the preservation of the right to know. Since in practice the right to know is usually passive, but the freedom of information is active, the society’s right to know is often individualized down to the level of a single person’s rights, whereas the freedom of information follows the reverse trend and is most commonly rolled up to a group, party, or corporate level. In this context, the proposed concept of “the freedom of media as an institution” relies on the assumption that the weaker side should be defended. By associating public interest and the quality of media with the right to know, this article aims to show that these two factors are no less important to the functioning of a democratic society than pluralism and diversity, which are directly linked to the freedom of information. The search for the balance between the right to know and the freedom of information is one of the most important issues concerning the functionality of the media, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.
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