Robert Trager, The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication, CQ Press, ISBN # 978 0 87289 923 0 / ANY edition
- These web pages (open access) — Syllabus (this page), schedule, study guides
- Desire to learn — most quizzes
Contact: Prof. Bill Kovarik, Ph.D.
email bill.kovarik @ gmail.com / Ph: 831-6033
What you will learn in this class:
- What freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly means in the US and the world.
- How to avoid doing harm in your work. You will learn how to recognize and avoid defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and other legal pitfalls. And yet, avoiding harm is not enough. You need to learn how to stand up for freedom and how to use the law to help you.
- How the law protects you and your ability to act responsibly and ethically.
- How the legal system works — Strengths, flaws, warts and all.
In the fall of 2012 media law students were asked to mark their opinion on the whiteboard about an important question: whether, in general, people were free to speak, to publish, to worship to share ideas and to dissent; and whether, in general, people understood their First Amendment freedoms. The two photos are from the first day of class and the last day of class.
Disabilities policy: We are happy to work with all students equitably and to accommodate disabilities on a non-discriminatory basis. Students with special needs may be required to clear special accommodations through the disabilities resource office of the university.
Honor Code: By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception.
Plagiarism: Students who directly copy substantial amounts of work from any source without attribution will flunk the class and be reported to the Dean of Students office.
Attendance is vital. Under the grade point system (below), missing class will mean you lose momentum and wont build up your score, and of course you may miss important information. Continued absences of more than 20 percent of the class will result in substantial grade penalties.
Grade point system
Grade point system
- 100 points – Quizzes / mostly D2L
- 100 points – Assignments
- 150 points — Assignments for extra credit
- 100 points — Attendance
- 26 classes * 3 points for attendance = 78
- 4 moot court sessions * 5.5 points = 22
- 400 points – Mid Term (200), Final Exam (200)
- 350 points – Moot Court
- 100 draft brief before Nov 15
- 100 final brief on day of Moot Court
- 100 oral argument
- 50 judge another case
Total of 1200 possible points
Translating points to letter grades
- A = 950 – 1,200 points / Bonus — The average score over 1000 within your group applies to everyone else in the group. This means you can help bring up everyone else’s score in your group Example: Three people in one group score 1100, 1050 and 1070, and three more score below 1,000. Everyone in one of the group gets a bonus of 74 points.
- B = 800 – 950 points
- C = 700 – 800 points
- D = 600 – 700 points
- F = below 600 points
Additional note about grades: As much as I want you to succeed, this course is hard for a reason. People who practice in media without a sense of their legal and ethical rights and responsibilities can hurt themselves and others.