Media Law and Ethics Minor

Media Law and Ethics Minor

The Media Law and Ethics minor studies the intersections of social institutions and practices with issues of professional and individual responsibility. The laws and regulations that govern the organization, content and ownership of media outlets profoundly impact on the shape of our society. Students preparing for careers across the public and private sectors need to understand the historical and contemporary context for a variety of policy debates. This knowledge will help them develop their own ideas about proper conduct and just behavior. This minor incorporates courses on professional ethics and conduct that conform to the national standards set by the American Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as the Public Relations Society of America.

Required Courses

I.  Complete  

MSCH-C 101 Media (3 cr.)

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

Examines the role media play in our lives-at work, at school, among family members, friends, and lovers-and analyzes pressing issues in media and society today, such as privacy, globalization, and convergence.

II. Choose one of the following courses from the Media Core (3 cr.)

MSCH-C 206 Media Reporting in a Global World

(3 cr.)

The goal of the course is for students to understand and articulate the issues in global journalism and the role of the media as a participant in shaping societies. Credit given for only one of MSCH-C 206 or JOUR-J 206.

MSCH-C 207 Introduction to Media Industry and Management

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

Introductory analysis, using a case-study method, of how media industries such as broadcasting, cable, and telephone are structured, funded, and regulated; how media organizations create and market programs and products, and how they manage their operations. Credit given for only one of MSCH-C 207 or TEL-T 207.

MSCH-C 219 Media in the Global Context

(3 cr.) CASE S&H, CASE GCC

Surveys media industries, products, and publics outside the United States context (e.g., Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America). Analyzes regional media in relation to local/global historical, economic, and social processes. Screenings may be required. Credit given for only one of MSCH-C 219 or CMCL-C 202.

MSCH-C 225 Reporting, Writing, and Editing I

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: ENG-W 131 or its equivalent with a grade of C– or higher, and fundamental computer skills. Working seminar stressing the creation of journalistic stories for diverse audiences. Students will learn to develop story ideas, gather information, combine visual and verbal messages, and to write and edit news. Credit given for only one of MSCH-C 225 or JOUR-J 200.

III.  Complete three courses from the following list (9 cr.)

MSCH-J 300 Communications Law

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: At least sophomore standing. History and philosophy of laws pertaining to free press and free speech. Censorship, libel, contempt, obscenity, right of privacy, copyright, government regulations, and business law affecting media operations. Stresses responsibilities and freedoms in a democratic communications systems. Credit given for only one of MSCH-J 300, MSCH-H 300, JOUR-J 300, or JOUR-H 300.

MSCH-J 407 Newsgathering and the Law

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: One of MSCH-J 300, MSCH-H 300, JOUR-J 300 or JOUR-H 300–with a grade of C- or higher; junior/senior standing; or permission of instructor. Students study the law relating to the content of news media and the processes by which that content is created. Discussion includes the legal issues triggered by story framing, selection of sources, interviewing, photography and access to information. The course reading and research using primary legal materials. Credit given for only one of MSCH-J 407 or JOUR-J 407.

MSCH-J 410 The Media as Social Institutions

(3 cr.) CASE A&H

P: One of MSCH-J 300, MSCH-H 300, JOUR-J 300, or JOUR-H 300 with a grade of C- or higher; senior standing. Examination of the functions and impact of the mass media in society with primary focus on the United States. Discussion of the values of media organizations and the professional and ethical values of journalists. Critical analysis of the relationship of the media and society and the effect of political, economic, and cultural factors on the operation of the media. Credit given for only one of MSCH-J 410 or JOUR-J 410.

MSCH-L 317 Media Ethics and Professional Responsibility

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: MSCH C 213 or TEL-T 205, or MSCH-C 207 or TEL-T 207, with a grade of C- or higher. An analysis of the media environment, including organizational structure, corporate responsibility, and the role of the individual in the media environment. Formulation of ethical principles to guide media policy and practice. Credit given for only one of MSCH-L 317 or TEL-T 316.

MSCH-L 424 Telecommunications and the Constitution

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: One of MSCH-C 207, MSCH-C 213, TEL-T 205, or TEL-T 207 with a grade of C- or higher; or consent of instructor. Surveys the constitutional foundations of telecommunications law and policy in the United States. Primary focus on the philosophies informing the freedom of speech and press traditions, the First Amendment and how it applies to electronic media, and government regulations purporting to promote First Amendment values. Credit given for only one of MSCH-L 424 or TEL-T 424.

MSCH-M 322 Telecommunications Networks

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: MSCH-C 207 or TEL-T 207 with a grade of C- or higher, or consent of instructor. The evolution of telecommunication network technology, policy economics, and industries from the 1870s to the present. Basic telecommunication transmission and switching, general operational concepts, and societal and cultural effect of telephony in the United States. Credit given for only one of MSCH-M 322 or TEL-T 322.

See The Media School Bulletin for complete details.

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