AZA2785 - Legal aspects of journalism - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Mr Tinus De Jager

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


In this unit students critically engage with historical and contemporary debates about the legal context of news production in the South African and African contexts. Topics covered include the historical development of the media as the 'fourth estate', freedom of the press, public interest defence, the law of defamation and contempt, professional confidentiality, freedom of information (shield laws), copyright, censorship and freedom of expression and racial vilification.


On successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the capacity to understand and make effective use of the literature on jurisprudence and law as it relates to journalism and the media more broadly.
  2. Show evidence of an ability to undertake research, discuss, analyse and evaluate relevant scholarly issues in a clear, concise and rigorous manner.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to contribute constructively to online forums
  4. Produce written assignments to deadline.
  5. Work independently and in groups to achieve learning outcomes
  6. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the strengths, limitations and social and professional implications of scholarly practice in the law of journalism in the South African and African context.
  7. Demonstrate an ability to make concise and persuasive presentations.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.