Media Law. | Defamation and Social Media Editors

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Task Written Assignment – Essay or Law
Reform submission

Written assignment: essay or law reform
submission (1000 words)
Attached Files: WrittenAssignmentCriteriaRubric2017.doc (46.5 KB)
Due Date: 8 May 17 16:00 Monday, Week 10
Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3
Weight: 20%

Criteria & Marking: See the attached cover sheet / rubric which you should attach as the
front page of your submission
Description:
Length: 1000 words.
Each student will use the genre of their choice – academic essay or law reform submission
– to take up an area of media law of importance to a journalist, lawyer or professional
communicator. The piece of writing will need to conform to the requirements of that
genre in all aspects explained in the criteria rubric attached. The task involves exploring
that area of media law and showing through your research and writing you are offering
your audience a fresh perspective and analysis addressing some problem arising from
that area. Possible topics will be discussed as the deadline approaches. More information
on this is provided below. The essay and law reform submission options require full
referencing throughout.
Submission:

Assignment – Written Assignment

Ruolin Wang

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Due Date: 8 May 17 16:00
Second Monday Module Monday, Week 10
Learning Outcomes Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4
Weight: 20% 100
Criteria & Marking: *** See attached rubric for submission as the front page
of your assignment.
Description:
Write one fully referenced 1000 word critical essay or law reform submission. Each
student will use the genre of their choice – academic essay or law reform
submission – to take up an area of media law of importance to a journalist, lawyer
or professional communicator. The piece of writing will need to conform to the
requirements of that genre in all aspects explained in the criteria rubric below. The
task involves exploring that area of media law and showing through your research
and writing you are offering your audience a fresh perspective and analysis
addressing some problem arising from that area. Possible topics will be floated as
the deadline approaches. The assignment requires full referencing throughout as
explained below.
Submission: Students submit assignments through Turnitin
Both approaches require you to cite a minimum of three quality sources,
(including the textbook), plus at least two recent case law examples. Submission
must meet academic standards of integrity and comply with the School of
Humanities, Languages and Social Science Referencing Guide, or follow properly
another referencing system of your choice.
Please ensure that your essays comply with accepted referencing approaches.
Students are advised strongly to undertake the Academic Integrity Tutorial

at https://www.griffith.edu.au/library/study/preparing-for-your-
assignment/academic-integrity to ensure they understand fully the requirements

for referencing and other attribution.
More Information:
Submission: Students submit assignments through Turnitin (as explained below).

Objectives
The purpose of this assignment is to enable you to achieve a deeper level of learning in an
area of Media Law.
It offers a broad scope for you to write in a style of your preference about a topic of
interest in the field you intend to enter. It is an opportunity to explore areas of law that
are evolving, debates that are current in Australia and issues that are impacting on
professional communicators. In addition to identifying and explaining legal concepts, you
are being asked to develop skills in research, writing and referencing.

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Research requirement: All topics require you to cite a minimum of three quality
sources (including the textbook) plus at least two recent examples. Your submissions
must meet academic standards of integrity and comply with the School of Humanities
Referencing Guide or carefully follow another accepted referencing system.
Due: Please pay close attention to the deadline. Late submissions will be penalised.
Word length: 1000 words, in the form of EITHER a 1000-word research essay OR a 1000-
word law reform submission.
Referencing: All assignments should be submitted with in-text references (including page
numbers), a List of References, a List of Cases Cited, and a List of Legislation Cited.
Essay (Professional communication context)
Style: A standard essay totalling 1000 words
Topic: Take up a topic of media law and explain how it affects the work of professional
communicators in a field of your choice such as journalism, public relations, advertising or
social media moderation. For example, you might choose to look at the law of defamation and
its impact upon social media editors whose work involves the moderation of comments on a
company’s Facebook page. Which areas of defamation apply? What would be a safe work
practice for such a social media editor to adopt? What legal cases might offer guidance? What
have the academic experts said about this type of situation in their scholarly articles? Or
perhaps you might like to explore the law of confidentiality from the perspective of a public
relations practitioner who deals frequently with reporters on an ‘off the record’ basis. What
risks are involved to both parties? What cases have been decided in the area? How might
work practices be adapted to navigate this area safely? The laws of breach of confidence,
disobedience contempt and shield laws would all be relevant here, along with both journalists’
and PRIA ethical codes.
It might help to imagine your essay is appearing as the lead item in a scholarly professional
communication journal, with a mixed audience of academics and high level professionals so
that it requires full academic referencing of your sources but is written in an accessible and
interesting style for the professional readers.
Essay (Media law reform submission)
Style: A standard essay totalling 1000 words
Topic: Find a topic of media law that is currently subject to review by a law reform body or a
parliamentary committee at state or Commonwealth level. Equally suitable would be a topic
that has been subject to a recent review, such as racial discrimination, privacy, journalists’
shield laws, computer game classification, or anti-terrorism laws. Read any discussion and
issues papers associated with the topic, and the submissions made to the reform body by
interested parties. Select one aspect of the reform proposals that interests you and draft
your own submission to this reform body in the form of an academic essay developing your
argument for or against the particular proposal. For example, the proposal for a shield law
protecting journalists from having to reveal their confidential sources in court has been passed
recently in some states and at Commonwealth levels. A key issue was whether such a shield
law should protect news bloggers/citizen journalists in addition to journalists working for the

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traditional media. You might wish to support the extension of such a privilege to bloggers, so
your essay would explain the problem, review the arguments and selected submissions, refer
to academic sources, and outline your preferred reform. (You are not required to detail the
exact wording of any proposed legislation.)
Essentials
All assignments, regardless of topic, should include the following:
A minimum of three quality sources, including the textbook, cited. Generally
speaking, the more research you do, the deeper your understanding of the issues. Only
credible sources should be used, but in this subject you are not limited to academic
sources. Quality sources may include books, journal articles, government or law reform
reports, MEAA documents and judicial speeches. In addition to these kinds of sources
you may want to look to TV/radio transcripts, newspaper articles and the blogs of
academics, lawyers and journalists for the most up-to-date information about cases.
Don’t forget to check the Reading (Links and Resources) page of the course website for
useful sources. Wikipedia and dictionary definitions do not count as one of your three
sources.
A minimum of two recent case law examples. These examples may be drawn
from secondary sources such as the textbook, journal articles and news reports. There
is no requirement that you look up the primary source material (eg. judgements on
austlii) but this might enhance your understanding.There are ample Australian case
precedents that you can use in your discussion. You may also look for relevant
“examples” that may not have gone all the way to a court decision, either because they
have only recently commenced or because they were settled out of court. Do use
discretion with overseas cases, though, as the law of that country may be different to
Australia’s. In particular, US cases may give little indication of how things might go in
Australia in the future. See the Referencing tab for details of how to reference cases.
References. Assignments must be thoroughly referenced, both in text and in a
formal List of References. Ensure that every fact, opinion, and case is carefully
documented. See the Referencing tool and the School of Humanities, Languages and
Social Science Referencing Guide for details.
List of Cases Cited. This should list all cases cited in your essay with full legal
citations if available and the details of where you located them (use your textbook’s
style of referencing cases).
List of Legislation Cited. If you have mentioned legislation in your essay you should
document it by its full name and state where you located it. See the Referencing tool
and the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science Referencing Guide for
details, or your referencing system of choice.

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Page numbers (or paragraph numbers in the case of some legal documents such as
reports and judgements) in your text references. It is not necessary to cite page or
paragraph numbers if none are stated eg. short web page. However, books, .pdf files,
journal articles and other lengthy documents will usually state page numbers, and these
should be cited. See the Referencing tool and the School of HLSS Referencing Guide
or the referencing guide of your choice for details.
Word Limit observed. Basically, the 1000 words should be your words. It
INCLUDES words you have written plus short reinforcing quotes.It EXCLUDES lengthy
quotes (which should be formatted as block quotes), bracketed in-text references and
List of References, List of Cases etc. The 1000 word limit should be strictly observed,
but there is a tolerance of plus or minus 10%, meaning the assignment should be
between 900 and 1100 words excluding references and block quotes. Assignments
that are significantly over or under the limit can expect a deduction in marks.
Marking Criteria
Please look over the attached Marking Criteria cover sheet on the attached rubric to gain
an understanding of the aspects that will be considered when determining your grade.
When marking essays the first things we look at are: Was it in on time? Has the research
requirement been met? Does it meet the word limit? Is the referencing OK? If yes to all of
these, then the essay is well on the way to a Pass. The rest of the grade is determined by
assessing whether you have stayed focused on the task, understood the relevant legal
concepts, selected good sources, argued logically, and written clearly with insight.
Academic Integrity
It is during a close reading of the essay that questions may arise in relation to referencing.
Has anything been “cut and pasted”? Are quotes accurate? Have all facts and arguments
been acknowledged to their sources? If significant integrity issues are identified, your grade
will be returned as “TBA – To be advised” and forwarded to the Course Convenor to
determine whether further action is warranted. A TBA grade is unlikely to be resolved
before the exam. See the Referencing Guide for more detail about the Academic Integrity
process and pay careful attention to the Turnitin report on your draft.
ALL students should undertake the Academic Integrity tutorial here to ensure you
understand the requirements for referencing, quoting and paraphrasing.
Standards
To ensure a Grade 4 (Pass result), you must:
Demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant legal principles.
Answer the question.
Cite a minimum of three quality sources, including the textbook and
prescribed readings.
Use case law examples to support your discussion and conclusions

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Show integrity by, for example, fully referencing all facts and arguments in
the text of the essay or reflection, disclosing all sources and checking
quotes for accuracy.
Provide a List of References, List of Cases and List of Legislation.
Demonstrate an adequate understanding of referencing style.
To achieve a Grade 7 (High Distinction result), you must do all of the above,
as well as:
Show a commanding understanding of the relevant law.
Provide high level analysis and insight into the issues to a level normally only
found among the top 5-7% of students .
Show initiative in the search for and selection of sources.
Present an essay that is well structured with a clear underlying argument, an
introduction that intelligently contextualizes the issue, a conclusion that
offers insight, and a body that flows clearly in response to the topic.
Present written work that is lucid and free (or very nearly free) of
grammatical error.
Present written work that is thoroughly documented and shows precision in
referencing technique.

Description

Defamation remains one of the major obstacles to press freedom. In their practice, journalist are required to be careful in the way the write and edit content to avoid being on the wrong side of the law of defamation (Polden, 2015). Defamation law is therefore meant to ensure that it protects the freedom of journalist in their work and at the same time protect the rights of those journalist are reporting about (George 2012, 81). However, one of the areas that have been adversely affected by defamation is social media. Social media defamation cases are on the rise in Australia which is evidence of the way journalist has been affected by defamation.