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Media Law & Ethics
MED LAW/ETHICS
CLASS CODE: COMM 307 CREDITS:  3
DIVISION: BUSINESS & COMMUNICATION
DEPARTMENT: COMMUNICATION
GENERAL EDUCATION: This course does not fulfill a General Education requirement.

DESCRIPTION: Examines foundational principles of free speech and free press, with succeeding judicial and governmental interpretations, in Anglo-American society; surveys significant ethics principles and moral/ethical issues that confront media professionals and organizations.
TAUGHT: Winter, Summer, Fall
CONTENT AND TOPICS: Introduction to Media Law and Ethics Concepts. Defamation Law and Ethics. Privacy Law and Ethics. Conflicts of Government and Press. Obscenity and the Law; Intellectual Property Law. Legal and Ethical Concerns in Advertising and Public Relations. Regulation of Electronic Media--Law and Ethics.
Texts: "Mass Media Law," D.R. Pember, McGraw-Hill: New York, London [2001-2002 edition] and "Media Ethics: Issues and Cases," P.Patterson and L. Wilkinson, McGraw-Hill: New York, London [2002].
Examines foundational principles of free speech and free press in Anglo-American society; Surveys significant ethics principles and moral/ethical issues encountered by media professionals. It introduces ethical and legal theories applied to the professional problems affecting the disciplines of Broadcast and Print Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations. It looks at how the law and media ethics affect human interaction, media policy and the media professions.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: Examine legal foundations of speech and press freedoms in media, including philosophical bases for basic liberties. Explore constitutional basis for three branches of American government, especially function and structure of judicial branchStudy legal principles behind libel and privacy law: intellectual property law, and commercial speech. Understand principles and analytical models for considering ethical dilemmas faced by media professions and practitioners. Examine conflicts between free press and rights of criminal accused in reporting; study how to get access to government documents. Study regulatory rationale underlying work or independent government agencies, FTC and FCC, as these impact media. Review the law of obscenity and indecency, particularly as new media, like Internet/online services pose challenges. Research and write a paper on legal case problem with ethical issues included.
REQUIREMENTS: Quizzes, tests, case problems and case problem papers, research papers, oral, group and solo presentations, discussions, review research, evaluation, and research methods.
PREREQUISITES: COMM 111 or COMM 140.
OTHER: You are expected to attend and to be on time for all of each class. You should come to class having read and outlined each class assignment so that you are ready to present your ideas and generally to contribute to the class discussions. You have agreed to follow a demanding code of ethics and honor and I will expect that you will adhere to all aspects of the code: honesty, originality in work, dress, grooming and conduct. One inferential aspect of any code of conduct has to do with respect, deference and cooperation with and for others. No late work is accepted.
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 2002