Cynthia J Simmons
Survey of laws and regulations that affect the print and broadcast media. Includes material on First Amendment, libel, invasion of privacy, freedom of information, copyright, obscenity, advertising and broadcast regulation, and matters relating to press coverage of the judicial system. Offered: jointly with POL S 461.
This course covers the law with which professional journalists need to be familiar. Content includes the First Amendment, libel law, access to public meetings and documents and broadcast regulation.
Student learning goals
Understand the freedoms protected by the First Amendment
Know how to minimize the chances of being sued for libel when working as a journalist
Understand the legal protections of journalists
Know areas in which journalists may get into trouble with the law
Appreciate the role of a free press in our democratic system of government
General method of instruction
Lecture, Socratic method, discussion and moot court.
Be sure to have plenty of time available outside of class to complete required reading.
Class assignments and grading
This is a heavy reading course using Pember's excellent text Mass Media Law, some U.S. Supreme Court opinions and two mass market books.
Primarily exams and participation