“Access” is usually understood to refer to the opportunity, ability, or right to gain entry to a space or possession of a thing. One of the most common formulations is to have access to a given object, action, or context. Discussions of media access have followed this usage, in terms of gaining access to the means of production, granting access to positive or realistic representations, enabling access to telecommunications networks and mass media content. Typically, media access is prioritized in matters related to news, politics, and economics, while it is less commonly made relevant to discussions of entertainment or social media.

“Access” has a positive and positivist bent; each of the examples above presupposes that it is beneficial for people to have access, and that access is a discrete state that can be identified and achieved. Given these tendencies, it is unsurprising that the use of “access” in media policies …

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