ATS3786 - Journalism, law and ethics - 2019

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


Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Johan Lidberg


Associate Professor Johan Lidberg

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Journalism units




The unit provides students with an opportunity for a critical engagement with contemporary scholarship on the legal and ethical contexts of news and long format journalistic production. Legal topics covered include the historical and geographical development of doctrines such as freedom of the press, the laws of defamation and contempt, professional confidentiality, freedom of information, copyright, censorship and freedom of expression and racial vilification. Examples of ethical concepts covered are; media accountability, cheque book journalism, codes of ethics and relationship to sources.


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

  1. demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge and capacity to make effective usage of the academic literature covering law and ethics relevant to journalism;
  2. demonstrate an ability to research, discuss and analyse relevant scholarly issues in a clear, concise and rigorous way;
  3. collaborate constructively with fellow students in learning and discussion processes, including online forums;
  4. produce their written work to deadline making effective use of the conventions of scholarly presentation (references, bibliography, etc.);

  5. work independently and in groups to achieve their learning outcomes;
  6. reflect critically on one of the core questions in journalism studies: what is journalism for?.


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

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