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The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication
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The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication

Seventh Edition
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November 2019 | 656 pages | CQ Press
This is the best all-around media law text for undergraduate and graduate students alike. The clear, nonthreatening writing style of the authors, by itself, sets this book apart. And yet, it does so by not leaving out any important areas of inquiry. That’s why my colleagues and I continue to adopt this for all of our media law classes.
—Jonathan Kotler, University of Southern California

In The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication, authors Susan Dente Ross, Amy Reynolds, and Robert Trager present a lively, up-to-date, and comprehensive introduction to media law that brings the law to life for future professional communicators. The book is grounded in the traditions and rules of law but also contains fresh facts and relevant examples that keep readers engaged. Tightly focused breakout boxes highlight contemporary examples of the law in action or emphasize central points of law as well as intersections with international law and policy. The thoroughly updated Seventh Edition contains a wealth of new content that is as timely as possible—from the U.S. Supreme Court, federal and state courts, Congress, executive agencies, federal and state policymakers and advisory groups, and media organizations and allies. A refreshed look, feel, and flow of chapters provide readers an understanding of fast-expanding areas of the law and legal complexities.
 

 


 
 

 
List of Features
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1 • The Rule of Law: Law in a Changing Communication Environment
Body of the Law

 
Structure of the Judicial System

 
Processes of the Law

 
Emerging Law

 
Finding the Law

 
Reading Case Law

 
 
Chapter 2 • The First Amendment: Speech and Press Freedoms in Theory and Reality
Where the First Amendment Came From

 
When “the Press” Changes

 
How the First Amendment Is Understood

 
Why We Value the First Amendment

 
How Government Restrains First Amendment Freedoms

 
How the Supreme Court Reviews Laws Affecting First Amendment Rights

 
Speaking Politics

 
Speaking For and As the Government

 
Requiring Speech

 
Political Campaigning and Financing Elections

 
Speaking Anonymously

 
Assembling and Speaking in Public and Nonpublic Places

 
Associating Freely

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 3 • Speech Distinctions: Different Categories Trigger Distinct Treatment
Evolving Court Tests to Protect Disruptive Speech

 
Speech Harms

 
Symbolic Speech

 
Do Media Incite Harm?

 
National Security and Tranquility

 
Speech in the Schools

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 4 • Libel and Emotional Distress: The Plaintiff’s Case
A Brief History

 
The Elements of Libel: The Plaintiff’s Case

 
Emotional Distress

 
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

 
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 5 • Libel: Defenses and Privileges
Truth

 
Anti-SLAPP Protection

 
Fair Report Privilege

 
Opinion

 
Section 230 Immunity

 
Other Defenses

 
Additional Defense Considerations

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 6 • Protecting Privacy: Conflicts Among the Press, the Government and the Right to Privacy
Constitutional Right to Privacy

 
Privacy Torts

 
Intrusion

 
False Light

 
Appropriation

 
Private Facts

 
Privacy and Data Protection

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 7 • Gathering Information: Opportunities and Obstacles
Brief Overview of Access

 
First Amendment Right of Access

 
Statutory Right of Access

 
Statutory Limits to Access

 
Other Limits to Gathering Information

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 8 • Overseeing Justice: Speech and Press Freedoms In and About the Courts
Access to Courts and Court Records

 
Advancing Fairness in Trials

 
Balancing Interests

 
Advancing the Flow of News

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 9 • Electronic Media Regulation: From Radio to the Internet
Brief Overview of Electronic Media

 
History of Broadcast Regulation

 
Reasons to Regulate Broadcasting

 
Federal Communications Commission

 
Broadcast Programming Rules

 
Multichannel Video Programming Distributor Regulation

 
Internet Regulation

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 10 • Obscenity and Indecency: Social Norms and Legal Standards
Obscenity

 
Indecency

 
Obscenity, Indecency and the Internet

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 11 • Intellectual Property: Protecting and Using Intangible Creations
Copyright

 
Trademarks

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Chapter 12 • Advertising: When Speech and Commerce Converge
Defining Commercial Speech

 
Testing Commercial Speech Protection

 
Compelling Commercial Speech

 
Promoting Disfavored Products

 
Advertising on Government Property

 
Promoting and Publicizing Businesses and Professionals

 
Restricting False or Misleading Commercial Speech

 
Regulating Commercial Speech Concerns

 
Emerging Law

 
 
Glossary
 
Notes
 
Case Index
 
Subject Index

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
edge.sagepub.com/medialaw7e

SAGE edge for instructors
supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:
  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;  
  • test banks that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions; 
  • an archive of case studies that provides students with the opportunity to engage directly and personally with the legal decisions that construct The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication;
  • class activities for use in and out of class to reinforce active learning;
  • tables and figures from the book;
  • sample course syllabus; and 
  • links to professional resources.

Student Study Site
edge.sagepub.com/medialaw7e

SAGE edge for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:
  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention;
  • an archive of case studies that provide students with the opportunity to engage directly and personally with the legal decisions that construct The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication; and
  • links to professional resources.

“This is the best all-around media law text for undergraduate and graduate students alike. The clear, nonthreatening writing style of the authors, by itself, sets this book apart. And yet, it does so by not leaving out any important areas of inquiry. That’s why my colleagues and I continue to adopt this for all of our media law classes.”

Jonathan Kotler
University of Southern California

"This is a rare book that is comprehensive in its coverage of media law concepts but at the same time is easy for students to read and follow along. The cases for study, the way the text brings in pop culture and digital media, and the overall accessibility of the text makes the comprehensiveness of the manuscript even more impressive."

Brian Moritz
SUNY Oswego

"This is the best book on media law availablehands down. It covers several relevant areas of law in a way that is engaging, thoughtful, and thorough. After reading this text, students will be able to identify relevant doctrine and apply it to their lives, their work, and their worlds."

Caitlin Ring Carlson
Seattle University

“I have used this text for almost five years, and I can say that it improves understanding of difficult content, improves passing rates, and provides the instructor with valuable tools to make a usually dry class much more exciting. I would say this text is by and far the best textbook for large, undergraduate Media Law courses. I would also say to colleagues to consider the text for graduate courses in Media Law.”

Derrick Holland
Texas Tech University

"This textbook makes communication and media law come alive for students by demonstrating its impact on our everyday communication practices.”

J. J. Sylvia IV
Fitchburg State University
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • An increased emphasis on the historical, theoretical, and constitutional foundations of legal topics as a point of departure for examination of legal evolutions, alterations, and current challenges reflects the authors’ belief that this grounding is especially beneficial in areas of rapid legal change.
  • New case examples and hypothetical Suppose… scenarios highlight developments at the federal and state levels in U.S. law to encourage classroom discussion, prompt critical thinking, and aid retention. 
  • 40 new photographs and new charts, graphs and tables help illustrate key trends and issues.
  • Emerging Law sections moved closer to the chapters conclusion provide a more concentrated discussion of developing legal topics.

 

KEY FEATURES:

  • Chapter-opening Suppose… hypothetical scenarios engage readers with a question presented to the courts on the chapter’s legal topic. 
  • Breakout boxes focus on a single topic to highlight contemporary examples of the law in action or emphasize important rules or concepts and intersections with international law and policy.
    • Real World Law boxes offer contemporary examples of media law in practice. 
    • Points of Law boxes underscore key elements of legal tests or provide useful checklists. 
    • International Law boxes explore significant global aspects of media law. 
  • Timelines with photographs of Landmark Cases in Context situate the law within history. 
  • Two Cases for Study at the end of each chapter present carefully edited U.S. Supreme Court decisions introduced by questions that help readers focus on important elements. 
  • Definitions in the text’s margins help students understand the specialized language of the law; a complete glossary can also be found in the back of the book. 
     

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