The right to publish one's views on any particular issue is protected from state infringement by the First Amendment. A problem arises when an individual who lacks printing facilities attempts to publish editorial advertisements in privately owned newspapers. Since he owns no printing press, should he have the right to rent the paper's facilities and circulation to present his views? The editorial advertisement is the same as a commercial advertisement; however, the editorial advertisement usually concerns an issue or controversy of a political nature. These advertisements are common around elections, but then they are encouraged by newspapers. The kinds of editorial advertisements which need the force of the First Amendment to gain access to a newspaper's pages concern other types of political questions, such as community labor disputes. Both labor and management will want to make known their side of the controversy and both may find that an advertisement in the local paper is a better way to reach the public than such familiar media as broadcasting facilities or picket lines. This Comment examines the status of editorial advertisements which depend on another's printing presses and established circulation to reach the public. The effect of private ownership of newspapers, the types of speech protected by the First Amendment, and the special character of the press must be discussed in arriving at a proposed solution to the editorial advertisement problem. The similarities and distinctions between newspapers, private property, and broadcasting provide the bases for this discussion.
Douglas F. Duchek,
Constitutional Law: The Right of Access to the Press,
50 Neb. L. Rev. 120
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol50/iss1/9