Peter Black (vote for his excellent law blog, Freedom to Differ, here) links to Jeffrey Feldman’s article at the Huffington Post on ‘The Real Meaning of “Free Press”‘ … it is very critical and angry in parts, relying on Lippmann’s view of the free press as an aspect of democracy (as distinct from an individual right), and concluding with a series of links to alternative media sources (with a suggestion that changing personal media habits can defend the role of the media as watchdog.

Reading it, I was reminded of something I read a few weeks ago and was quite impressed by – André Schiffrin’s short essay (published in Le Monde Diplomatique) on how to pay for a free press. Schiffrin’s concern is with independent publishers, mentioning trust models for newspapers and the experiences of various independent and not-so-independent publishers, with liberal dashings of Habermas, and concluding by wondering whether legislation (to support not-for-profit enterprises) would be helpful. It’s a pity that the analysis doesn’t deal with words other than in the form of dead trees, but nonetheless is an excellent (if somewhat ‘traditional’) read.