In this time of New Year’s Resolutions, a good one is to spend an hour brushing up on the legal basics of journalism that are relevant to blogging.
Yes, eyes glaze over immediately. But as on-line publishers of news and pictures we should know the rules.
What can we copy, how do we attribute properly, what’s our responsibility for comments, what are the legal limits on expressing opinions about people, products, or places?
NPR’s On the Media podcast recently discussed “The Calculated Risk of Blogging” with Bob Cox, founder of the Media Bloggers Association. They track legal issues and court decisions relevant to bloggers, and have sponsored a free online course that teaches the basics of privacy, copyright, defamation, and media law. It’s from a US perspective, but well worth taking time to review with a cup of tea. (If there is a European equivalent, please comment?)
There is a 20-question pre-test on the MBA website, but you can navigate directly to News University without taking it.
Simply register on the site and use this link to Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Online Publishers to start the course.