University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2018

Course Description
Journalism faces dramatic changes and challenges in the new media environment. The President of the United States has publicly called the press “the enemy of the American people.” Charges and countercharges of “fake news” often outnumber actual news events of the day. The surveillance state makes investigative public interest journalism increasingly important. At the same time, political, technological and legal developments create obstacles for media. The Internet has undermined the traditional business model of the daily newspaper without having yet replaced it with a viable alternative. It has also led to fundamental changes in the practices of journalism itself. Now that everyone with a smartphone camera can call him/herself a journalist, what distinguishes the institutional press? Technology poses the risk that journalists will not be able to keep their sources’ identities secret. As for the law, doctrine advantages publication, but erects barriers to newsgathering. The political climate promotes leaking, but journalists relying on whistleblower sources are threatened with prosecution.

This course focuses on the bodies of law regulating the gathering and dissemination of information by the media, including constitutional, statutory, and common law. Specifically, we will cover defamation and privacy, liability for physical and economic harms caused by the media, copyright, subpoenas and searches, media access to information, and regulation of broadcasting. We will pay special attention to the problem of regulating new technologies and to adapting First Amendment theory to deal with new technologies and the globalizing news environment. The current political climate makes this an unparalleled moment to study freedom of the press.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-16-2018 - 04-25-2018   M  3:30 PM-6:20 PM G363

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered once every academic year

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: Yes
Prerequisite: There are no prerequisites for this course.
Method of Evaluation: Final exam (open book)
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Special Attributes: None
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Entertainment, Music, & Sports - Specialized
Government & Regulation - Specialized
Bar Subject(s): None
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s): TBD/None      
First Class Assignment(s): TBD/None



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-2289
Office: G471