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Media Law 1. Indecency 2. Obscenity 3. Copyright 4. Libel & Slander 5. Privacy Law 6. Staff Policies.

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Presentation on theme: "Media Law 1. Indecency 2. Obscenity 3. Copyright 4. Libel & Slander 5. Privacy Law 6. Staff Policies."— Presentation transcript:


2 Media Law 1. Indecency 2. Obscenity 3. Copyright 4. Libel & Slander 5. Privacy Law 6. Staff Policies


4 Media Law Indecency: As responsible journalists and media members we may not record or publish material that is obscene, profane or indecent. Indecent subject matter includes words, photos, videos, and graphics.

5 Media Law Obscenity: Legally obscene materials are not protected by the First Amendment. This applies to what you do, say or depict. In 1973, Miller v. California (413 U.S. 15) set forth a test for obscenity: If an average person, applying contemporary local community standards, would find the work, taken as a whole, appealing to impure interests … its obscene! If the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct … its obscene! The work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value … its obscene!

6 Media Law Obscenity: What are our contemporary local community standards? Highland Park Middle School standards!

7 Media Law Copyright: What can be copyrighted? Literary and artistic works, poetry, scripts, music, lyrics, photos, motion pictures, videos and sound, etc. What may not be copyrighted? Factual or historical information (news), but descriptions of news events may be copyrighted. The Fair Use Doctrine: Anyone can make limited use of copyrighted works. Whether the use of something that is copyrighted is a fair one is determined by weighting: The nature of the work. The percentage of the work that is used. The effect on the owners right to make a profit. Is it used for commercial or non-profit educational purposes. Bottom line: Dont Steal It And Put It In The Yearbook!

8 Media Law Libel & Slander: Meant to protect people whos reputations have been wrongfully damaged. Libel: A written defamatory statement. Slander: A spoken defamatory statement. What constitutes libel & slander: Defamation. Identification. Publication or Broadcast. Fault as a result of negligence. Actual damages. What are the defenses: Truth. Fair comment & criticism. Privilege. Bottom line: Dont publish bad or mean things about people.

9 Media Law Privacy Law: Invasion of privacy is a legal action that can be taken against a media organization if the subject feels their privacy has been invaded. Its like Libel and Slander law in that invasion of privacy is determined by the subject (victim). There are four types of invasion of privacy: 1. Intrusion upon a persons physical solitude. 2. Broadcast or publication of private facts, causing embarrassment. 3. Placing a person before the public in false light. 4. Unauthorized commercial exploitation of a persons name or likeness. (If you use a persons name, voice, image, photo or any other elements of their persona, you must have consent). Bottom line: Get peoples permission to record their image, voice, opinions. Get peoples permission to publish their photos, quotes, etc. If they say NO, that means NO! If theyre on the DO NOT PHOTO list, that means NO!

10 Media Law Staff Policies: I exercise editorial control over style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities. Students shall observe standard media law practices, ethics, morals, modesty and appropriateness. I will not allow content that: 1. Might reasonably be perceived to advocate drug or alcohol use, sex, bullying, fighting or conduct otherwise inconsistent with the shared values of HPMS and this the Park Cities community. 2. Is inappropriate for the level of maturity of our audience. 3. Does not meet decent community standards. 4. Associates the school or me with any position other than neutrality on matters of controversy.

11 Media Law Staff Policies: When on assignment and while representing HPMS journalism, you are prohibited from: 1. Loitering/being in the wrong or a restricted area 2. Running, pushing, shoving, littering, or throwing objects 3. Producing loud and unnecessary noises that disrupt learning activities 4. Taunting, bullying, or invading the privacy of other students or faculty 5. Using offensive language or doing offensive acts 6. Leaving the school building without permission 7. Engaging in inappropriate physical contact 8. Recording in any restrooms or locker rooms 9. Recording students, teachers/staff, or classrooms without permission 10. Publishing any material that is false, offensive to school/community standards, challenges media laws, or paints any individual in a bad light

12 Media Law Staff Policies: When on assignment and while representing HPMS journalism, you are prohibited from: 11. Publishing any information, graphics, video, photos, or anything from a student or staff member who asks not to be identified 12. Allowing non-staffers to handle our equipment 13. Stealing and publishing any copyrighted material that is not your own 14. Distributing or displaying unapproved material that could be offensive to others 15. Acting disrespectfully to school personnel or guests in the building 16. Engaging in any activity that causes a disruption of the school day, or of a school program 17. Trespassing 18. Any action which could cause injury or harm to another or damage to our equipment


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