Media Law & Ethics

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Cheapest Assignment

Order Now

Media Law & Ethics

Semester 2 2017

Essay Questions

ESSAY: 40% of total mark

DUE:  5pm 16 October 2017

WORD LENGTH: 3000 WORDS maximum

The essay should demonstrate engagement with the unit content, the set readings and texts, as well as show evidence of wider scholarly research. Essays must follow proper scholarly formatting and referencing in order to avoid penalties. This course is ostensibly based on Australian debates and references/examples should be made to current Australian media. Laws, codes, regulations and guidelines should be primarily Australian. Of course what has happened in other jurisdictions (cases, legislation, reform recommendations), may also be important as a comparison. A good example will illuminate the concerns and provide depth. Serial examples should not be used to replace a coherent argument.


Recent media examples media (published after 1 July 2017)should be used in a way that substantially enhances & illustrates your argument. All references, material and examples must be originally in English (translations bystudentsare not accepted). All references using actual quotes, paraphrase, or specific arguments, should employ page numbers. Scholarly standards will apply. See the University Guide for students for further detail on academic referencing.

Media Law & Ethics

The essays will be assessed primarily according to responsive to the question; engagement with course concepts, clarity of expression; structure and strength of argument; use of academic and media texts to support your argument; use of course materials as well as independent research/reading.  In addition the following will be taken into account:

  • evidence of understanding of the chosen topic and relevant course material,
  • appropriate level of academic writing with referencing
  • presentation and clarity of expression
  • originality of thought and approach.


  1. Your Essay must be uploaded through Turn It Inas a Word.doc or Word.docx (not pdf). An identical hard copy must be handed to your Lecturer in the class on or immediately following the due date.
  2. Your saved title for the document you are uploading to Turn It must include the Question Number(eg Question 6) that you are answering (not just SID. “Essay”)
  3. At the start of your essay, write the question number and the question itself in full.
  4. Double Space and paginate your work. See Faculty style guide concerning fonts, margins.
  5. Indicate your work count at the end of your essay. The Word Limit is 3000 words (max), including in-text referencing, footnotes & quotes, but not a list of references/resources, or the title. Marks are deducted for late submission or exceeding the word limit.  There is no 10% leeway on the word limit.
  6. Penalties apply for late submission. No simple extensions will be granted. Extensions are only available through formal application under Special Consideration.
  7. Use in-text referencing (eg Harvard, APA,) not footnotes,
  8. Ensure you have read the University’s policy on Academic Integrity & Plagiarism. Note the inclusion of references that you have not actually read yourself and negligent or unintentional plagiarism may be a breach of this policy. Ensure that you properly reference the sources of all information that is not your own – not merely the words of others you may have quoted, but also their ideas. You should demonstrate a careful engagement with the course concepts and materials as well as your own wider reading and research. Do not quote lectures or lecture materials in your essays, but refer to the original works used in the lecture, demonstrating that you have actually read those original works. Scholarly standards will apply.
  9. You should NOT cover the same story/issue in any substantive way that you have addressed or intend to address in your comment piece/presentation.
  10. Laws, codes, regulations and guidelines should be primarily Australian. Of course, what has happened in internationally in other jurisdictions (cases, legislation, reform recommendations etc), may be relevant as a comparison or for the particular issue you are looking at..

Essay Questions: Choose ONE question only.

  1. Debate the legal and ethical issues for the media arising from the secret/hidden filming or recording of people and the use of that material by the media.  You should refer to legal and ethical frameworks and materials used in this Unit of Study as well as your own wider research.  Illustrate your response using at least one recent (2017) media story involving the use of secret filming or recording. You should refer to relevant Australian laws and codes in your analysis. 
  2. The use of material from government and corporate whistleblowers poses ethical and legal questions for the media. Using current media examples, consider how media codes, shield laws and exemptions or exceptions for journalists assist and constrain the media in using this material.  Illustrate your answers using specific current media examples, focusing on the legal and ethical issues for media practitioners.
  3. Prior to the amendment of the Commercial Radio Code of Practice, John Laws responded to concerns about “Cash for Comment” payments, “I am an entertainer – not a journalist. I don’t have a hook for ethics” (John Laws). From 1 March 2017 Social influencers are subject to new AANA guidelines. How far do these guidelines address the concerns of “Cash for Comment” on social media? Should social influencers on Instagram or similar platforms be held to the same ethical expectations of transparency and disclosure as talk back radio hosts for payment or other material benefit they receive in exchange for their opinions?
  4. Personal data created by individuals using the internet creates both ‘footprints’ and ‘fingerprints’. Discuss the ways that data-matching on the internet pose new legal and ethical issues for media platforms and media practitioners. [Data matching means the use of personal information given in one context (or held on one database) with data given (or held) in another]

ITC133 Customer Support Management

  1. Privacy is one of the enduring legal and policy hotspots in the media and communications industries. Explain, with reference to Australian media codes and laws in what ways the public interest is served by the media in revealing what would otherwise be considered revealing an individual’s private information.
  2. Outline and discuss in a detailed, critically reflective manner the ethical & legal considerations for media practitioners raised by a CURRENT (2017) media story or case. You must identify ethical and / or legal principles involved and refer to specific media texts as well as to academic and critical texts in your answer.

Do NOT choose a story/issue that you have already covered for your comment piece. The story should have had some substantial coverage or notoriety in English language media.  It can come from any area of media practice looked at in this Unit of Study. 

  1. Discuss the view that ‘The media are free to publish what they want unless there is a law against it. Freedom ends where the law begins.’ You should discuss this in the context of matters of either (a) taste and decency; OR(b) hate speech (vilification). You should consider where and how the line is drawn for media between freedom and the law in the chosen context. You should make reference to specific current media examples. Reference should be made at least primarily to Australian laws and codes, although some comparison with international approaches may be relevant.
  2. There is a view that commercial pressures and corporate business priorities are necessarily in conflict with ethical media work. Is unethical conduct by media practitioners an unavoidable consequence of the commercial pursuit of profit and audiences? What can be done in commercial media organisations or industries to promote or ensure ethical practice? Discuss and elaborate on your response through the use of specific media example(s) in ONE area of media practice such as journalism or PR or advertising or other area of media practice.
  3. ‘Fake news’, the word of the year in 2016, but it is not a new phenomenon. However, new media technologies and new use of old media technologies can exacerbate the problem. Today, a dystopian view argues that search algorithms and social media undermine public discourse as online media spread fake news, divide users into “filter bubbles” of like-minded people and enable users to close themselves intovirtual echo chambers hearing only their own biases.  Consider the ways that the media itself can address these concerns and whether regulation by government or media platforms would provide better outcomes. Illustrate your answers using specific current media examples. “Regulation” in this context is not limited to external government laws and may include self-regulation or the other regulatory tools explored in this Unit of Study.
  4. Discuss the role of codes of ethics in the context of ONE area of professional media practice, examining its problematic and positive aspects and whether codes are the most effective way of securing ethical media practice without unduly restraining practitioners? (‘media practice’ refers to a professional area such as PR, journalism, advertising, online platforms, or social media). You should draw on Australian codes and current (2017) media examples.
Order Now