Saturday, January 2, 2010

Basics of Media Law

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.


Marco said...

Some information about privacy on the internet in general. In Dutch.

Dave Hampton said...

'looks like a good document, thanks for posting the link. I thumbed through it reading the section headings and diving gingerly into content, and it looks pretty complete. Many thanks!

patti said...

Thank you! This looks like so much fun. I think this might also be a good resource for my students!

Dave Hampton said...

Hi, Patti, and happy new year!

The legal requirements make sense when they're explained, and the case studies show how complex the issues csn get when you try to write a general rule into law that applies to all circumstances, everyone, all the time. It quickly becomes a matter of "every situation is unique" (that's why we need judges?).