Media Law and Ethics

This course will explore two subject matters: media law and media ethics. It is an introduction to Canadian law and legal procedure in areas likely to be encountered by the working media. Topics include a basic overview of our legal system's history and functioning, the key role played by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, contempt of court, confidentiality of sources, defamation, copyright, privacy, access to information, police powers of search, seizure, and arrest, and court orders like injunctions and subpoenas. You will analyze the major ethical issues facing journalists, including the public's right to know vs. an individual's right to privacy, free press vs. fair trial, community standards, becoming involved in the news, conflict of interest.