Because freedom of the press is vital for the proper function of a democracy, some argue, the news media must be held to a different standard than the suppliers of other goods and services. Although a free press is integral to the democratic process, attempting to justify it on this basis, rather than grounding it on individual rights, invites slippery-slope “market failure” and “public-good” arguments for its curtailment.

Karen Horn is the incoming head of the Berlin office of the Institute for the German Economy. She has been economics editor for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (until May 2007).
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