Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1985


Electronic mass communications, which have become increasingly influential over the past quarter century, have also undergone rapid and profound technological change. Constitutional governments around the world have struggled to apply their fundamental legal principals to the electronic media through sensible and balanced regulation. Perhaps the central problem in such regulation is to protect truth in the media, mainly by encouraging diversity, without allowing the regulators themselves to exert undue influence over what is disseminated over the airwaves and cables of a country's communications infrastructure. The following article traces the history of France's attempts to solve this problem in its electronic media law, analyzes the most recent reform of French law and suggests some possibilities for applying the lessons of the French experience to U.S. regulation of electronic media.