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Recent controversies, such as Trump de-platforming and debates about how to regulate internet intermediaries raise fundamental questions of freedom of expression. Should internet intermediaries be considered as censors of speech, against which the rights of individuals must be asserted? To what extent do they have rights as ‘media’ to be autonomous or independent of the state, or to receive other benefits? The lack of shared principles of media freedom undermines the legitimacy of all responses to these questions. Whilst the number of international organisations with media freedom in their mandate grows, and the UK Foreign Office leads a campaign for Media Freedom, this lecture examines the history of different theories of media freedom, and the extent to which it may be possible to advance a shared one based in international human rights.
 
This event is co-hosted by The Journal of Media Law - The Journal of Media Law (published by Taylor and Francis) was established in 2009 by Eric Barendt, Tom Gibbons and Rachael Craufurd  Smith. In its first decade it has established itself as a leading specialist journal focusing on global developments in media law (receiving contributions from scholars in various jurisdictions).