Newsgathering and the Law Seminar

Credits: 2.00

Prerequisites: Constitutional Law

This seminar will identify and define the constitutional rights, statutory mandates and common law customs that control the conduct of reporters and regulate the flow of information to the public. Beginning with an exploration of the meaning of the First Amendment's 'press' clause, topics covered will include the development and scope of the First Amendment right of access to judicial proceedings, and the potential application of this right to information held by other branches of government; press issues presented by high profile trials, including gag orders, restraints on press conduct, and access to jurors; source agreements; the purpose and scope of the reporter's privilege; privacy rights affecting newsgathering; and the 'hidden camera' jurisprudence.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Grades will be based upon an in-depth paper on a current topic concerning newsgathering. A take-home exam option may be available. This course may be used to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement.