Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Media and the law

There are various key resources we will use for this:
Wikis on the Press Complaints Commission and libel/slander; the Press Complaints Commission's own website; Media Guardian articles on media law; my blog on Media Regulation.

Lets start by pinning down the difference between libel and slander:
"Defamation" is the general term used internationally, and is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel". Libel and slander both require publication. The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures and the like, then this is slander. [SOURCE]

Lets check out today's front pages: thepaperboy.com
Do you think these papers serve our democratic need to be well informed citizens? What sort of content is featured as headline 'news'?

Links list below the MediaReg blog archive
  1. Use this link (TabloidWatch) to find examples (mimimum 3) of tabloid stories (this blog treats the Mail + Express as tabloid, as well as the actual tabloids (all termed 'popular press' by the Citizenship exam board) of press articles which are inaccurate. Note the headlines and sum up in ONE sentence for each what was false or inaccurate.
  2. If you were writing a code of practice for UK newspapers, stating things that they must not do, what would be on your list? Try to come up with at least 5 within your pair/group.
  3. Look up the PCC's actual Editor's Code - how many of your points are also included in their code? (You just need to read the section headings, not the full descriptions)
  4. Go back to your TabloidWatch examples: which PCC Code clauses do each seem to be in breach of?
  5. Use this link (Media Guardian: PCC) to find examples of rulings (mimimum 2) by the PCC: note what the complaint was and how the PCC ruled. Try to also find (or think of) one argument for/against the PCC complaint. State whether you agree or disagree with the PCC ruling. 
  6. The PCC announced in December 2011 that it would disband itself (it still hasn't!). Use my MediaReg blog and find at least 2 arguments in favour of the PCC, and at least 2 arguments against the PCC. If you can, add a brief summary of what the planned new press regulator might look like.
  7. Follow one of the links from the Children and regulatory cases links list on my blog + summarize what you find.
  8. If there's time, use my blog to list 5 or more things you didn't know about media regulation!

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