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JRN2909 - Media Law

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Elizabeth Hart


Berwick First semester 2007 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Singapore First semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit covers the areas of law that affect journalists in their everyday work, including defamation, contempt of court, confidentiality, copyright and freedom of information legislation. Students learn the extent of legal freedoms and constraints on the publishing industry and the ways some points of professional ethics and the law might come into conflict. The principle of freedom of expression provides a framework for comparing legal rights, freedoms and obligations in various jurisdictions.


Students who successfully complete this unit should be able to demonstrate:

  1. knowledge of the professional practices and procedures in reporting legal proceedings and in reporting matters that could potentially lead to legal actions;
  2. knowledge of the journalist's rights and responsibilities in reporting on the civil and criminal courts;strategies to collect and write about sensitive information relating to private and public individuals and corporations;
  3. familiarity with the regulatory proceedings relating to journalism;
  4. understanding of the debates and conflicts between governments and media in various jurisdictions;
  5. ability to interpret and critically analyse legal and regulatory trends affecting freedom of expression.


: Essay (1500 words): 30%
Oral presentation and written paper (1000 words): 30%
Examination (2 hours): 40% : Essay (1500 words): 30%
Critical analysis of case studies (1000 words): 30%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


JRN1902 and JRN1903 or equivalents


GSC3909, GSC3903, GSC2909, JRN3909