Privilege

Privilege is a legal defence which offers protection for journalists (conditionally), and allows them to report on material which may be defamatory or untrue. It protects journalists from facing legal action, i.e. being sued for libel, provided journalists meet certain conditions in their reporting. There are two types of privilege and the conditions which must…

Press Regulation: Codes of Conduct, Practice and Ethics

While the law establishes a framework for journalism to operate in, and puts into place legal limitations (laws regarding defamation, contempt and copyright etc.), it is also important to have other bodies, outside of the law, to operate as regulators to direct journalists and provide ethical guidelines. These regulatory bodies are almost the conscience of…

Reporting Crime

Reporting on criminal activity is one of the areas of journalism which carries the most potential risk for a journalist, broadcaster or publisher, because the law around what can and cannot be said is extremely strict, and there is little leniency for anyone who is found to break it; even inadvertently. The two prohibited acts…

Re-Introduction to Media Law

Basic outline of the legal system: Law is divided into two areas: Civil Law and Criminal Law. These two areas handle different types of cases to the other, and the process of trying cases also differs. Criminal Law deals with offences committed by a person/s which are harmful or threatening to another person/s, property, or…

Codes of Conduct

Most journalists adhere to certain codes of conduct, sort of ethical guidelines, that determine what journalist can and can’t do – or rather should or shouldn’t do. Ethics in journalism concerns professional survival NOT in moralisation. There are four main codes of conduct: National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Code of Conduct Press Complaints Commission (PCC)…

Freedom Of Information Act

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT The Freedom Of Information Act was a New Labour policy objective instigated by Tony Blair, which was brought into force in 2005. The Act was designed to offer new power to the public, more specifically to journalists and lawyers etc. The basic principle of the FOI Act is that “Any person…

Investigative Journalism

Investigative journalism is a unique branch of journalism, in that the stories are actually uncovered by journalists, as opposed to being reported by them. Investigative journalists aim to uncover the truth, or expose instances where the truth may have been, or is being, covered up. It differs from the investigative work done by the police,…

Copyright

The beginning of Tuesday’s Media Law lecture was spent discussing what was in the morning papers, before talking about the dangers of being a journalist in countries where the law is less supportive of journalists. He showed us the website Press Freedom Online – Committee to Protect Journalists, which is established to protect journalists in…

‘The paradox of the pops’ – Peter Cole

I was asked to read a collection of articles written for the Guardian, by Peter Cole, and blog about one of the articles. The article I have chosen to blog about was entitled ‘The paradox of the pops’ and is about the rise and ongoing decline of the tabloid newspapers. I have chosen to blog…

Media Law: Assignment: Dr Joe Rahamim Case

In week 4’s Media Law lecture we looked at libel and defamation, and we were asked to look into, and blog about the case of Dr. Joe Rahamim. The case involved a consultant thoracic (lung) surgeon, Dr. Joe Rahamim, who was attacked in a Channel 4 news broadcast and then in an ITN programme: ‘Great…

Libel and Defences

The topics we looked at in Tuesday’s lecture on Libel were: Reputation, Slander, Libel (the definition and necessary prerequisites), and lastly, the defences against libel action. Reputation A person can only be libelled if they have a reputation to defame. Everyone has a reputation, built up of objective facts and subjective opinions about them and…

Court Reporting

Once again, apologies for the delay in posting but my internet problems have persisted! Week 2’s Media Law lecture (on Tuesday 2nd October) predominantly revolved around court reporting, with an explanation of the hierarchy of the courts and binding precedent. We were also set a homework assignment to split into groups and visit Winchester Crown…