The Right to Know and the Freedom of Information: Communicational Aspects

Gintaras Aleknonis


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.


communication; media; right to know; freedom of information; freedom of the press; democracy; censorship; marketplace of ideas

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236