Witness the impact legal considerations have on media output. Examine defamation and privacy laws. Learn about legal restrictions on crime reporting. Consider the role online communication takes in regard to intellectual property and free expression.
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This subject introduces you to the legal issues faced by journalists, public relations practitioners and other public communicators. At the completion of this subject, students should have an awareness of:
- sources of law in Australia
- their rights to access information and to maintain confidentiality of sources and materials
- the legal implications of social media, blogging and other Web 2.0 publishing
- the legal restrictions on the coverage of crimes and court cases
- what constitutes defamation, and how to adjust your reporting, writing and editing to help defend a defamation action
- aspects of copyright that affect the rights of creators and users of original work
- competing public interests affecting free expression in a democracy in other areas including privacy, national security and discrimination
- mindful work practices that will both enhance the quality of professional communication and minimise the risk of legal action.
- Media Law in the Web 2.0 era
- Free expression and mindful practice
- Legal and regulatory systems and principles
- Open justice and freedom of information
- Contempt of court
- Identifying defamation
- Defending defamation
- Keeping secrets: confidentiality and sources
- Anti-terrorism and hate laws
- Intellectual property: protecting your work and using the work of others
- The law of public relations, freelancing and new media entrepreneurship
Level 2 subjects normally assume an introductory level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 subjects or other relevant experience.
No additional requirements
Learn about legal issues relevant to professional communicators in the online era.
This subject provides an overview of legal constraints on public communication, along with an outline of law as it impacts on the Australian media and social media environment. Topics include free expression, open justice, defamation, contempt of court, publication restrictions, privacy, confidentiality, defamation, hate speech, national security laws and copyright within the context of an information society. It also addresses some key communication business laws affecting freelancers, public relations practitioners and new media entrepreneurs.
PLEASE NOTE: Media Law is taught in a full 12 week teaching mode in Study Session 1 each year. It is taught in an intensive six week teaching mode in Study Session 3, with students having the remaining six weeks to prepare for their final assessment.
- Essay/Law Reform Submission (40%)
- Final Quiz (10%)
- Final Take Home Assignment (50%)
Current study term: 06 Nov 22 to 10 Feb 23
Check the learning management system (LMS) of your university for textbook details.