MP5002 - Media Law and Ethics

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What will I learn on this module?

‘Media Law and Ethics’ investigates law and ethical conduct for print, online and broadcast journalists in the UK. It explores the current structure of media law and the court system. It also considers the ethical expectations and obligations of journalism as well as the constraints they create for journalists. This module aims to equip you with a critical awareness of the legal and ethical restrictions which will have an impact on the way you work as a journalist. Using contemporary examples as well as well-known cases, you will learn about the processes of the criminal court system and how to report its proceedings within the law.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars and independent learning. Where possible, contemporary news stories will be used as case studies to illustrate legal restrictions and ethical dilemmas. The seminars will provide the opportunity for ideas based in the lectures to be discussed. In many instances the seminar is about reinforcing ideas and encouraging you to apply what you have learned. Trips to magistrates, crown and coroner’s courts will give you an opportunity to watch the processes of law in action and be an invaluable source of understanding.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You are supported in a variety of manners: the module tutor is available to discuss issues both during and outside scheduled teaching. Tutors can discuss issues during pre-determined Office Hours each week, and also via email. Additionally, information, teaching materials and other support is available through the Electronic Learning Portal system.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
Understanding of journalistic restrictions on the reporting of criminal investigations and court proceedings. (LO 1)
The ability to Identify and respond to the dangers posed by laws of defamation. (LO2)
Understanding of the restrictions placed on journalists when reporting on cases involving children and sex crimes. (LO3)
Understanding of the rationale underpinning those ethical frameworks in which a journalist works. (LO4)
The ability to evaluate the development of media regulation – by official bodies and self- regulation. (LO5)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Understanding of journalistic restrictions on the reporting of criminal investigations and court proceedings. (LO 1)
The ability to Identify and respond to the dangers posed by laws of defamation. (LO2)
Understanding of the restrictions placed on journalists when reporting on cases involving children and sex crimes. (LO3)
Understanding of the rationale underpinning those ethical frameworks in which a journalist works. (LO4)
The ability to evaluate the development of and work within boundaries set by media regulation – by official bodies and self- regulation. (LO5)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
The ability to Identify and respond to the dangers posed by laws of defamation. (LO2)
Understanding of the restrictions placed on journalists when reporting on cases involving children and sex crimes. (LO3)
The ability to evaluate the development of media regulation – by official bodies and self- regulation. (LO5)

How will I be assessed?

Assessment and feedback is given during seminar sessions in relation to tasks set within the group. (LO 1-5)
Overall assessment takes place via
1. A 300-word or one minute 15 second radio or TV report based on a court case observed during a court visit.
2. A multiple choice quiz
3. A 2-hour 30 minute closed book examination (LO 1-5)

*Referral for each assessment will be via three 1,000-word essays.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

It is essential that all journalists understand the law (in relation to courts and crime reporting and also with respect to libel) and everyone wishing to follow a career path in the media will need to demonstrate its understanding. This module helps you clarify and critique the historical and contemporary dynamics of media law in the UK. Ethical dimensions to the profession will also be discussed.

Course info

UCAS Code PP35

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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