Media Law Essay Questions

The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford are pleased to invite applications to the 20th annual Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute, to be held from Monday, July 30 to Friday, August 10, 2018 at the University of Oxford.

For twenty years, the Institute has brought together top early career communications scholars, media lawyers and regulators, human rights activists, and policymakers from countries around the world to discuss the effects of technology, media, and policy from a global and multidisciplinary perspective. The Summer Institute provides participants with an intensive two week curriculum that combines expert instruction from media policymakers and scholars with hands-on activities such as stakeholder mapping, policy analysis, group case studies, and participant presentations.

The 2018 Annenberg-Oxford Summer Institute seeks applicants whose research or work is broadly related to the the role of the media in society and politics. Past applicants have had specific interests in the relationship between international norms and national jurisdictions, online censorship and surveillance, media ownership, misinformation online, media activism and political change, the impact of social media on the public sphere, the role of corporations in media governance, strategic communications and propaganda, access to information, online extremism and hate speech, net neutrality, and internet governance- amongst other topics. Applications are encouraged from students studying communication, sociology, political science, international relations, information studies, and related disciplines. Practitioners working in media, law, policy, regulation, and technology are also encouraged to apply.

The Institute endeavors to broaden and expand the pool of talented young scholars engaged in media studies and to connect these individuals to elite scholars and practitioners from around the world. The main goals of the program are to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and build spaces for collaboration between scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. The Institute’s alumni are a vibrant group who continue to engage in the program, collaborate through network ties, and have become leaders at the top national and international nonprofits, advocacy organizations, government agencies, corporations, and academic institutions. Past institutes have included participants from India, Kenya, Brazil, the Philippines, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, China, Italy, Israel, Colombia, Iran, Myanmar, South Sudan, Nigeria, and many other countries. 

The application for the 2018 Summer Institute is now open and availablehere. The deadline for all applications is Monday April 16, 2018 at 5:00 PM EST. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis before the deadline, so please submit as soon as possible. Several partial scholarships are available to top applicants. 

To learn more and apply, please visit: 

Possible/Practice Questions for Media Law exam

Possible Questions:

  1. What is the highest court in the UK? 
    1. Where does it sit?
    2. How many justices?
  2. Three functions of Crown Courts? 
  3. Three functions of Magistrates courts? 
  4. What is the difference between a civil and criminal offence?
  5. Is the legal test of proof the same or different?
  6. Give 3 sources of law in the UK.
  7. What do journalists mean by the public interest?
  8. Briefly explain what is meant by ‘prejudice’ and ‘contempt’ in the context of media law.
  9. When does a case become legally active?
  10. After an arrest is made what sort of facts – in general terms – can be reported? 
  11. The accused appears before magistrates – in general terms – what can you report? List them…
  12. What is meant by an ‘either-way offence?
  13. What is maximum sentence magistrates can impose?
  14. What is meant by a conditional discharge?
  15. What is the purpose of a ‘Section 49 order’?
  16. What is purpose of a Section 39 order?
  17. What do we mean by ‘jigsaw identification’?
  18. One morning you arrive at court and barristers are making legal arguments about crucial evidence. You notice the jury isn’t there.  Can you report the proceedings?
  19. What is required of your court report for it to attract absolute privilege?
  20. In this context explain what is meant by ‘fair’.
  21. During a murder trial a family member shouts at the defendant from the public gallery. “You lying bastard – you killed our boy!”  Is that safe to report?
  22. How would you define libel?
  23. How do we know when a statement is defamatory?
  24. What particular danger is there of libel for TV journalists?
  25. What are the 3 major libel defences?
  26. Something re the McAlpine affair…
  27. Why is the legal principle of privilege so important to journalists?
  28. Give examples of occasions when reports may attract Qualified Privilege with, and without, explanation and contradiction.
  29. Why was a public meeting in 2000 about the jailed paratrooper Lee Clegg so significant?
  30. What’s the purpose of copyright law?
  31. You use a photo off the internet.  Is it free of copyright? 
  32. Why is the principle of fair dealing important and what are its limitations?
  33. What is the purpose of the law of confidence?
  34. What are the danger areas for journalists?
  35. What dilemma does a journalist face when newsworthy information comes into his or her possession?
  36. What bodies are responsible for regulating the professional conduct of journalists?
  37. Which body has most power and why?
  38. Define impartiality.
    1. Would there be any difference in your approach to this if you were working in newspapers or broadcasting?
  39. Why is accuracy and impartiality especially important at election times?
  40. What are the danger areas for journalists during campaign reporting?
  41. Must all candidates standing in a constituency be covered equally?
  42. On polling day when can we start reporting exit polls?
  43. On polling day a candidate makes a final plea to voters – can we report this?

Answers available here

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