UK Media Law
McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists (22nd Edition) is recommended to answer the questions as well as the media law course book (attachment).
A third source may be used if relevant.
The following questions should be answered:
1) In no more than 25 words for each answer, explain (question 1 only):
a) what does the law of defamation seek to protect?
b) what sort of published material might constitute a contempt of court?
2) what restrictions exist on identifying young people in a) youth courts; b) adult courts?
3) A steelworks on your patch has circulated to its directors, managers and trade union representatives of its workforce a short statement about an imminent
restructuring plan which will involve a substantial number of job cuts. A copy is leaked to your paper and the company seeks an injunction restraining publication of
the contents of he document on the grounds that publication would involve a breach of confidence. Does the company have a case? Discuss how you would handle the story
and what issues are applicable.
4) A newspaper publishes photographs of a celebrity couple taken in the following circumstances. What arguments would the Press Complaints Commission (now IPSO)
consider in adjudicating a subsequent claim for intrusion into privacy under Clause 3 of the Code of conduct?
a) a picture of the couple enjoying a candlelit anniversary meal in a local restaurant
b) a long-lens picture of the couple walking hand in hand on a public beach
c)a long-lens picture of the pair, with the woman sunbathing topless of the balcony of her private holiday home
5) What risks, if any, might a paper encounter by publishing the following pictures:
a) a member of the Royal family shopping with her children; b) a well-known film star on holiday with his children on a public beach; c) a shamed celebrity leaving drug treatment centre?
6) A commercial photographer sends a newspaper a wedding picture ‘with compliments’ asking for an acknowledgment if it is used on the paper’s weddings page. The
picture has been sent with the permission of the bride’s father, who ordered the wedding photographs. The newspaper publishes the picture and files it. Ten months
later the bride is killed in a boating accident and the paper publishes the picture again. What is the position under the law of copyright with regard to a) the
newspaper; b) the photographer; c) the bride’s father?