Media Laws & Ethics

Course Description: The course attempts to provide understanding of the law and ethics on the operation of media. It explores how the various laws as external set or rules and ethics as self-regulatory mechanism impact on the media.

Course Contents: Unit 1: Press Freedom and its historical development. Constitutional framework – fundamental rights, directive principles; Privileges and immunities of the legislature, executive and judiciary. Unit 2: Legal restrictions on rights, reasonable restrictions, censorship; Laws of defamation, Libel, Contempt of court, Decency and morality; Right to information and various property rights, literary and copyrights; Unit 3: Restrictions on broadcasting, overview of cyberspace and international legal controls; Rights and defenses of media professionals; Cyber Law in India – IT Act, 2000 / IPR - Introduction and its applications; Constitutional protection under Cyber law – Freedom of speech and expression; Human Rights violations. IPR regime and Cyber Laws - Understanding Copy right in Information Technology. Legal issues in Internet and Software Copyright; Patents, Trade Marks & Data Base. Unit 4: Ethical principles - objectivity, independence, fairness, impartiality and responsibility.  Confidentiality of news sources. Law of privacy; protecting the innocent and public interest; Cyber ethics- scope and implications. Unit 5: Ethical dilemmas - advertorials, pressure groups, freebies and junkets. Conflicts of interest and plagiarisms. Self-regulatory mechanisms - press council, ombudsman, peer pressure, advertising council.

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