4 November|Tuesday|Talk on Media Ownership and Free Speech

You are invited for a talk at ALF on

    Concentration of Media Ownership and the Imagination of Free Speech: The Competing Claims of Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g) by Smarika Kumar

    next Tuesday, the 4th of November at 6 pm.

Abstract:
The presentation discusses the issue of media ownership from the perspective of two fundamental rights embodied in the Indian Constitution: The Right to Freedom of Speech under Article 19(1)(a) and the Right to Freedom of Trade under Article 19(1)(g). Through an analysis of various case laws, it traces the process by which these two fundamental rights become distinct claims that compete with each other to generate a system for governance of media infrastructure and ownership.

The presentation engages with a close reading of cases concerning regulation of media infrastructure and consequently diversity of ownership, in Indian jurisprudence. Judgments like Sakal, Bennett Coleman, Indian Express and Cricket Advisory Board are discussed, to identify various arguments which have been put forward for the protection of freedom of speech and expression. These include the prevention of regulation of content, prevention of regulation of circulation, availability of media services at competitive prices, presentation of diversity of views, as well as diversity of voices within media. This analysis illustrates how different arguments construing the imagination of free speech get classified under the framework of Article 19(1)(a), or under the framework of Article 19(1)(g) in various cases. It goes on to show that courts have recognised that Article 19(1)(g) is also subject to certain reasonable restrictions under Article 19(6), which allows for reasonable restrictions on Article 19(1)(g) in interest of the general public.

About the Speaker:
Smarika graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law and arts. Her area of interest lies in the intersection of law, science & technology with development. She works at Alternative Law Forum on legal issues concerning media content, ownership and infrastructure, access to knowledge, internet governance, and the allocation of natural resources.

Time: 6 pm
Date: Tuesday , 4th November 2014
Venue: Alternative Law Forum, 122/4, Infantry Road, Bangalore
(Next to Balaji Art Gallery)

Entry is free. All are welcome.