The course is designed to introduce students to the basic legal concepts, ethical and policy issues related to the mass media. The course will engage students in this discourse through exposure to methods of analyzing various legal instruments and policy statements. Using diverse case studies, the course will analyze contextual realities of existing media law and policy and how they impact on media freedom and freedom of expression as a whole. The course therefore explores contemporary issues undermining the enjoyment of media freedom on one hand and other realities promoting the enjoyment of the same on the other hand.
The course will consider the legal environment which applies to the operation and regulation of the media in Australia and globally. Topics to be covered may include: defining the media for regulatory purposes, media ownership, defamation, privacy, confidential information, content regulation, international and comparative perspectives, contempt of parliaments and the courts, breach of confidence, copyright, advertising, and the online media, including online games, social networking and blogging. Concepts such as free speech, ethics and access to justice will also be discussed. The focus of the course is on a critical analysis of how the law applies to the media, including new media, such as blogging and social networking.
By the end of the course unit students should be able to;
- Explain in broad context, existing media law and policy and be able to critique and analyze future laws and policies.
- Discuss the articulate the ethical issues that are relevant to media conduct.
- Arm a generation of media practitioners with the necessary skills to confront contemporary issues regarding media freedom and freedom of expression as a whole.
- Explain the Produce responsible and accountable contemporary media practitioners