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This task requires you to identify & analyze current legal and ethical issues for media practice. There are 2 parts to this assessment – a Comment Piece and a Presentation.

The purpose of this assignment is to assist you to develop your legal and ethical literacy in media, recognise legal and ethical issues for media; develop skills as a media practitioner in dealing with these issues and link theory to practice. This assignment is designed to stimulate discussion and debate within the class and reflection by the whole class on a broad range of topics and issues chosen by students. It enables you to develop skills in critical analysis, research and oral/written presentation. As well as looking at specific breaches of laws, codes and ethics we can examine broader legal and ethical issues for media practice.

CURRENT Media Story or Issue
We can look at all areas of media practice including journalism, PR, marketing, advertising, entertainment, social media and other new forms of media. Current stories and issues can be found in the media you engage with, in decisions of media regulators, academic journals, Twitter (@MediaLawEthics), or many sources in the List of Useful Resources and Links (Canvas).

Try to relate your Comment Piece the week you are giving your Presentation, eg if you are presenting in week 4 the topic is “public interest”, even though you are posting your comment piece at the end of week 3. You will have access to the lecture materials & readings for week 4 ahead of time. We don’t need to look at both ethics AND law each week but do try to link it to the week’s topic.
This task requires you to engage with current legal and ethical issues. Given the limited time/words for the task, it’s suggested that you focus on perspective of or implications for the media practitioner. Your work should be based on a story or issue published AFTER 1 January 2019. Occasionally, a story may have started 2018 and you can use it if it has a current or ongoing issue in 2019. Eg the Geoffrey Rush defamation story published in 2017, the court case occurred in 2018 and the judgement was handed down in early 2019, so this is still a current (2019) story/issue and appropriate to bring us up to date. If in doubt, check with your lecturer.

Use at least some course material, themes or frameworks to connect to this Unit of Study, as well as evidence your own wider readings & research. A summary of a topic or story without substantive comment and reflection will receive low marks. The depth of your independent research should be documented through references to relevant articles, web sites, and other credible, relevant, current resources.

Students presenting in the same week should ensure other students in their seminar group in that week are not doing the same story, or issue. Liaise with students in your group well before your due date. You can’t do a story or issue done in previous weeks in your seminar unless you get PRIOR permission from your lecturer and can demonstrate the story merits re-visiting because of another issue etc. Avoid specific topics from later weeks, as the respondent/class won’t have read relevant material from that topic.

Note: you also can’t do the same topic you intend to cover in the Essay. Essay topics will be posted early in the semester.

While some international stories are relevant across all jurisdictions, the primary focus of this course is Australian regulatory system, particularly when examining media laws and codes. Speak to your lecturer prior to starting work, if you would like to comment on a story involving non-Australian legal system or codes/ regulation. Some stories or issues are not limited by legal frameworks but illustrate universal ethical or regulatory issues or concerns for the media and can be used. Eg. a recent UK law was introduced requiring people viewing pornography online to identify themselves – the law is different here, but similar issues of regulation of pornography and privacy are raised. You could compare the different approaches to regulating the same issue in Australia with the UK.

The story or issue must be covered in English language media. ALL media, materials

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