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Citizens, consumers and the citizen-consumer: articulating the interests at stake in media and communications regulation

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The Office of Communications (Ofcom), established by an Act of Parliament in 2003, is a new sector wide regulator in the UK, required to further the interests of what has been termed the ‘citizen-consumer’. Using a critical discursive approach, this article charts the unfolding debate among stakeholders in the new regulatory environment as they attempt to define the interests of citizens, consumers and the citizen-consumer. Ofcom has preferred to align the terms ‘citizen’ and ‘consumer’ so that the interests of both may be met, as far as possible, through an economic agenda of market regulation. Among civil society groups, there is growing concern that the citizen interest is becoming marginalised as the consumer discourse becomes more widespread. We conclude by advocating the development of a positive definition of the citizen interests, distinct from the consumer interests, for the media and communications environment.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/993/1/Citizens_consumers_and_the_citizenconsumer_%28LSERO%29.pdf

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