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LEGS9004 - Media and Communications Law

Title:Media and Communications Law
Long Title:Media and Communications Law
Module Code:LEGS9004
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Expert
Field of Study: Law
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2018/19 ( September 2018 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: Pio Fenton
Module Description: This module will examine the application of legal rules and ethical codes in the context of the media, content creation and communications.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Describe and evaluate the role of the law in regulating communications and content creation with particular reference to communications in a professional context and the dissemination of information in a democratic society
LO2 Explain, analyse and critically evaluate ethics and professional practice within the media and communications Industry.
LO3 Explain and critcially analyse the legislation governing Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
LO4 Describe and evaluate the legal rules governing Defamation and Contempt of Court
LO5 Describe and analyse the importance of Intellectual Property Rights in the media environment and evaluate the impact of new media technologies on IPR.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named CIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed
No Co Requisites listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Describe and evaluate the role of the law in regulating communications
Source of Law and the legal system. The development of key principles such as Privacy and Freedom of Expression. The regulation of print and broadcast media. Legal rules relating to Obscenity, Racism and Discrimination.
Overview of the role of Ethics in Communications
The meaning of ethics. The relationship between law and ethics. Ethical theories and application to issues in the media, communications and public relations.. Ethical issues in the context of digital media. Professional ethics and Codes of Practice
Data Protection and Freedom of Information
The General Data Protection Regulation. Key definitions and principles. Application to media and communications. Freedom of Information Legislation. Background to the legislation. The FOI framework and application to media and communications
Defamation and Contempt of Court
The Defamation Act 2009. Meaning of defamation, defences and remedies. Relevance of the rules for media and communications professionals. The rules relating to Contempt of Court. Reporting of court cases.
Intellectual Property Rights in the New Media Era
The development of IPR and relevance in media and creative industries. Forms of IPR, Copyright, Patent and Trademark. Copyright law in Irish Law and in an international context. Infringement, enforcement and remedies. Creative commons and fair dealing. Copyright and new technologies. Copyright and plagiarism.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Essay Essay on ethics and professional practice in a professional context 2,3 20.0 Week 6
Written Report Report - assessment of specific legislation as it pertains to media and commuications 1,3,4,5 40.0 Week 10
Project Project on a key legal principal relating to media e.g. privacy, freedom of expression 1,2 30.0 Sem End
Other Participation in Discussion Board. Candidates should participate in at least 6 discussions on the module discussion board. 1,2,3,4,5 10.0 Every Second Week
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Lecture on law, ethics and professional practice 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Self-directed study 5.0 Every Week 5.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 2.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Eoin Carolan 2010, Media Law in Ireland, Tottel Publishing [ISBN: 9781847660657]
  • Andrea Martin 2011, Media Law in Ireland, Oaktree Press [ISBN: 9781904887461]
  • Chris Frost, 2007, Journalism Ethics & Regulation, Longman London [ISBN: 1405835362]
  • Richard Lance Keeble, John Mair 2012, The Phone Hacking Scandal, abramis [ISBN: 9781845495336]
  • Tim Crook 2010, Comparative media law and ethics, Routledge London ; New York [ISBN: 9780415551571]
  • Damien McHugh 2006, Public Relations and Corporate Communications Law in Ireland, First Law [ISBN: 1904480381]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Daniel J. Solove, 2008, The Future of Reputation, Yale University Press [ISBN: 0300144229]
  • Daniel J. Solove, 2009, Understanding Privacy, Harvard University Press [ISBN: 0674035070]
  • Denis Kelleher, Karen Murray, 2007, Information Technology Law in Ireland, Tottel Publishing Dublin [ISBN: 978-1845921118]
  • Cecilia Friend and Jane B. Singer 2007, Online journalism ethics, M.E. Sharpe Armonk, N.Y. [ISBN: 0765615746]
  • edited by Matthew Kieran 1998, Media ethics, Routledge London [ISBN: 0415168384]
  • Charles Ess 2014, Digital Media Ethics, 2nd Ed., Polity UK [ISBN: 9780745656052]
  • Bruce E. Drushel, Kathleen German 2011, Ethics of Emerging Media, Continuum [ISBN: 9781441183354]
  • Stephen J. A. Ward. 2011, Ethics and the media, Cambridge, UK; Cambridge University Press [ISBN: 9780521889643]
  • Denis Kelliher 2015, Privacy and Data Protection Law in Ireland, 2nd Ed., Bloomsbury Professional [ISBN: 9781780432038]
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_HJDCC_9 Master of Arts in Journalism and Digital Content Creation 2 Mandatory
CR_BPRNM_9 Master of Arts in Public Relations with New Media 2 Elective

Cork Institute of Technology
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