76 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1017 (2007-2008)
The Rights of Reply and Freedom of the Press: An International and Comparative Perspective

handle is hein.journals/gwlr76 and id is 1031 raw text is: The Right of Reply and Freedom of the
Press: An International and
Comparative Perspective
Kyu Ho Youm*
In rejecting the right of reply1 as incompatible with the First
Amendment, Justice Byron White of the U.S. Supreme Court stated
in 1974: We have learned, and continue to learn, from what we view
as the unhappy experiences of other nations where government has
been allowed to meddle in the internal editorial affairs of newspa-
pers.'2 It is not entirely clear whether his deep concern about the
right of reply's impact on American print media was empirical or intu-
itive. In any event, Justice White's absolutist assumption that U.S.
newspapers should be free from what he considered government edit-
ing explains his and other Justices' fears of what might happen when
the government intrudes into actual or virtual high-walled newsrooms.
However, Justice White's assertion that the right of reply would
give rise to a meddlesome government dictating news editing was
overly sweeping. In fact, the news media in most free-press democra-
* Professor and Jonathan Marshall First Amendment Chair, School of Journalism and
Communication, University of Oregon. The author wishes to thank Professor Pnina Lahav of
the Boston University School of Law and Professor Stephen Gardbaum of the UCLA School of
Law for their thoughtful comments on the earlier draft of this Article. For facilitating access to
various source materials, he also gratefully acknowledges Professor Kirsten Mogensen of Ros-
kilde University, Denmark; Professor Rosalinda Kabatay of the University of Asia and the Pa-
cific, the Philippines; Professor Susana Ndlida Vittadini Andrds of Tamkang University, Taiwan;
Professor Christina Holtz-Bacha of the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,
Germany; Professor Rick Peltz of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Professor Martin
Halstuk of Pennsylvania State University; attorney Dave Heller of the Media Law Resource
Center; Ms. Franziska Klopfer of the Council of Europe; Mr. Tom Stave of the University of
Oregon Knight Library; Mr. Toby Mendel of ARTICLE 19, London; Professor Wolfgang Don-
sbach of the Technical University of Dresden, Germany; attorney Hop Dang of Oxford Univer-
sity; and attorney Ulrich Amelung of Hogan & Hartson, Germany. Special thanks to Ph.D.
students Shi-Mu Huang and Ahran Park at the University of Oregon for their fine research
assistance.
1 The right of reply is often distinguished from the right of correction; the former compels
a news-media outlet to publish a statement prepared by the injured, while the latter requires the
media outlet to disseminate its own statement correcting its earlier statement. U.S. AGENCY
FOR INTr'L DEv., THE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR FREE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA: CONTRI-
BUTION TO TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE 39 (2002), (Occasional Papers Se-
ries No. PN-ACM-006) available at http://www.usaid.gov/our-work/democracy-and-governance/
publications/pdfs/pnacm006.pdf.
2 Miami Herald Publ'g Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241, 259 (1974) (White, J., concurring).
June 2008 Vol. 76 No. 4

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