Since I've read a lot about this particular debate over the last few days, I thought I'd throw it out here to see what people's reactions are.
The question is pretty simple, basically, should there exist a fundamental right for an individual to receive a plurality of content (i.e. content which is as unbiased as possible, so to allow individuals to make up their own mind about events etc...) in the media? Put alternatively, given the wealth of new media services and sources, can/should market forces be relied upon to provide members of the public with an adequate diversity of information and ideas for liberal democratic purposes? Or should there be a positive obligation on the state to ensure this happens?
I think this is an issue which is more controversial than I first thought. Pluralism, in my eyes anyway, is generally considered to be more of a group right or a societal right, rather than a fundamental right of the individual. Yet, to all intents and purposes, a plurality in the media is a prerequisite to the well established fundamental right of freedom of expression (which includes a right to receive enough information to form a balanced opinion), which leads me to believe that without some form of pluralism, freedom of expression would be nonexistent.
This in itself is problematic. Pluralism as a concept has two faces, pluralism of content, and pluralism of infrastructure (i.e. diversity of media ownership). The first type is easy enough to deal with, but the second type raises a number of problems. A pluralism of media structures that comes in the form of regulatory intervention may require restrictions on the freedom of expression for certain individuals (e.g. licensing systems and so on), but serve pluralism through protecting the rights of others. Furthermore, state restrictions of this sort are likely to hinder competition and distort media markets, and as these markets are driven primarily by economic interests rather than human rights interests, this strikes me as an unsatisfactory solution...
Anyway, rambled on for more than I intended to here. Thoughts would be appreciated.