ISSN: 1550-7521

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Research Article Open Access

The Exile of Dissidence: Restrictions on the Right to Communicate in Democracies


This paper argues that full enjoyment of the right to communicate is contingent upon information availability. It is suggested that gatekeeping and agenda-setting processes dominated by political, economic and social elites contribute to information deprivation and homogenization of news content in mainstream US media, limiting dialogic options critical to democracy. Gatekeeping is reconceptualized as a three-tiered process influencing media and public agendas, and the framing of news presentations. It is argued that realization of the right to communicate can be proscribed by conditions unrelated to access to mass media technologies, either for information origination or reception.

Gregg A. Payne

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