MCH8068 : International Media and Law (Semester 2)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1 This module aims to give students an advanced insight into the legal and ethical frameworks within which journalists work in Britain and in other jurisdictions and cultural contexts around the world.

2 It aims to prepare students to recognise when legal and ethical issues arise which relate to their practice and / or the reports they are producing and to be able to identify those issue and research and analyse how they should respond to them in an appropriate manner.

3 To prepare students to be able to develop their knowledge and understanding of legal and ethical issues throughout their careers and to apply that knowledge and understanding as reflexive practitioners guided by a strong set of professional and ethical values.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module may include, but is not limited to, sessions on:
Reporting crime and judicial institutions and procedure:
Defamation dangers and defences;
Press and broadcasting regulations in different judicial and cultural contexts
Censorship, access to information and freedom of expression;
Ethical issues in journalism and professional values;
Legal and ethical issues relating to children and the law, children in the media;
Copyright and intellectual property.

The module adopts a student-led and student-centric pedagogical approach in a field which is in constant flux and where students of all backgrounds need to understand the legal and ethical frameworks which constrain and support journalists in their work around the world. This approach to learning and teaching enables the module to enhance its international perspective and allows students to focus their learning on their particular area of endeavour.

Tutors lead the introductory session, the field trip to the Crown Courts, the session on broadcast regulation and review and revision sessions.
Students are divided into teams within each group and each team leads two themed sessions, the second of which is assessed (10% of the total module mark).

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00Introduction to module; broadcast laws and regulations; revision lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00Introductory lecture for each topic and preparation for student led seminars
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading25:0010:00Preparation for seminar leadership
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00Student-led seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork14:004:00Visit to Newcastle Crown Courts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00For queries relating to assessments (essay and test)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1154:00154:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures in the module are introduced by the tutor but will primarily be led by students in teams, each exploring a different area of the law and ethical issues as they relate to journalists and the media in a range of judiciaries. These will explore critically the concepts, theories and issues involved in comprehending the legal and ethical context in which journalists work and how these are understood and applied in different countries.

By leading on this the students will develop rich and deep understandings of the areas of law which they are researching and teaching, they will in the process be preparing for the main assessment tasks, the essay and the timed test.

These sessions, will, however, be monitored and moderated by the tutor to ensure accuracy and validity in the delivery. Teams who are delivering sessions will have a briefing session with the tutor at the end of the previous week's teaching session when key concepts will be addressed and advice on delivery provided. Students are taught by professionals in the field and identity their own skills in order to enhance them in the context either of advanced professional study, employability, or career. Classes will mix formal instruction experiences with informal advice sessions.

The assessment strategy is presented to the students as an opportunity for them to demonstrate their knowledge of legal issues through structured systematic argument.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination6002A35An open-book exam equivalent to a 2,000 word submission: five questions answered between 9am and 9pm
Oral Presentation902M10Students are divided into groups and each group leads two seminars. The second is assessed and each student receives the group mark
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M55Students compose an essay question which elicits a critically analytical response to a topic or area of the curriculum
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This open-book format replicates the situation a practitioner is confronted with when a legal or ethical issue arises and they need to research and identify an appropriate response and explain their reasoning.
The test allows students to demonstrate their knowledge across the curriculum.

Assessed seminar
This enables students to work together to address a particular field of law and related ethical concerns which are relevant to journalists and he practice of journalism and examine it from a multi-national, multi-cultural perspective.
The student cohort is predominantly international, and they will be applying skills and knowledge gained on this module in a variety of contexts, and every journalist today is publishing internationally. So it is important that this module is student-led and student-centric.
Furthermore, the intensive research each student undertakes in order to lead two seminar / lectures will feed in to their essay research and their revision for the timed test.

This allows students to demonstrate their ability to research and critically analyse a particular issue or topic of concern. Students are asked to decide on their own topic and discuss the framing of the question with the tutor - this is in accord with the student-led, student-centred pedagogical approach which allows individual students to better direct their own learning towards their own career direction.

Reading Lists