Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2012 (Evening)
Coordinator(s)Peter Gregory


Previously coded JRM4903


This unit examines the ways in which the production and distribution of media and journalistic products are regulated, in the context of broader economic, political, technological and social processes. An underlying theme is a critique of the development of and contradictions among different ideas of free speech, and how these are used to promote or defend a range of communication practices, in particular historical and cultural contexts. The subject aims to develop a working knowledge of relevant areas of media law, such as defamation, copyright and contempt, with an emphasis on understanding the way the law works in practice and the policy issues which arise. A comparative approach is used to explore legal systems in different parts of the world.


On completion of this subject students are expected:

  1. to have a strong working knowledge of the legal rights and responsibilities of journalistic practice, and their ethical dimension
  2. to understand the historical and political contexts in which these have rights and responsibilities have developed and are practised
  3. to be able to analyse critically and deploy reflexively the principles of 'the public right to know', 'freedom of expression' and 'access to information'
  4. to understand issues and debates about freedom of expression in an international and cross-cultural context.


Minor take home exam: 30%
Research essay (2500-3000 words): 40%
Online simulation game: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Philip Chubb

Contact hours

2 hour weekly seminar