UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


Mark S. Nadel


When confronted with regulations which permit others to have access to their media, cable television system owners, among others, have challenged such rules as abridging their first amendment right to editorial freedom. The author analyzes this defense by examining exactly what editorial freedom is, and why it is protected. He argues that editorial freedom is best understood as the right of consumers to receive information effectively, and thus to employ editors to provide so called editorial functions. After noting that these services are analogous to those generally provided by retailers, the author discusses the editorial functions performed by cable operators. The author then evaluates whether, according to this framework, various media access rules interfere with editorial freedom.