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Teaching Media Law

Best Ideas for Teaching Media Law

Starting in 2009, the Law and Policy Division has recognized great teaching ideas in an annual competition.  Submissions are judged based on creativity, innovation, practicality and overall value in teaching communication law and policy to our students.  The winning entries include:

  • 2015 Teaching Ideas – First Place Rule v. Standard (Stephen Bates, University of Nevada Law Vegas, 2015)
  • 2015 Teaching Ideas – Second Place Media Law in Pop Culture and Multimedia (Peggy Watt, Western Washington University, 2015)
  • 2015 Teaching Ideas – Third Place An In-Class Exercise for Teaching Commercial Speech (Roy Gutterman, Syracuse University, 2015)
  • 2014 Teaching Ideas – First Place Soviet-Style State Media, Gatekeeping, and the Chilling Effect: Using a video game to explore media ethics and free press issues (Chip Stewart, Texas Christian University, 2014)
  • 2014 Teaching Ideas – Second Place Media Law: The Playlist (A Musical Introduction to Key Concepts) (Gerry Lanosga, Indiana University, 2014)
  • 2014 Teaching Ideas – Third Place The Other Americans: Tribal Nations and Free Speech (Jason Zenor, SUNY Oswego, 2014)
  • Exploring Limits for Free Expression With Middle School Students (Erin Coyle, Louisiana State University, 2012)
  • Presumed Prejudice in Pre-Trial Publicity (Kevin Qualls, Murray State University, 2012)
  • Exploring the Law Landscape With New Media: An Enhanced Podcast Project (Melinda Rhodes, Ohio Wesleyan University, 2012)
  • First Amendment Project (Jim Sernoe, Midwestern State University, 2010)
  • Creative Finals: Something to Chew On (Dinah Geiger, University of Idaho, 2010)
  • You Be the Judge: Teaching Privacy Law Through Classroom Participation (Susan Keith, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 2010)
  • Blogging and the First Amendment (Steven Helle, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009)
  • Multimedia Course Project for Mass Comm Law Survey Class” (University of Oklahoma, 2009)
  • Using Literary Works to Teach Mass Media Law (John Bender, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2009)
  • First Amendment in Practice: Free Expression & Local Action (Brian Carroll, Berry College, 2009)

Great Ideas for Teaching

Every year since 2000, the Small Programs Interest Group for AEJMC and the Community College Journalism Association have recognized great teaching ideas. About 200 of them are available for the years 2000 through 2005 online, athttp://www.aejmc.org/_scholarship/teaching/gift/booklets/2002.pdf. You can order from the Web site the 2006 and 2008 years if you like. Some media law exercises include:

  • News in Brief: How to teach media law creatively (Patricia Kennedy, Syracuse, 2001)
  • Using Student Group Projects in the Classroom: How to diminish the dread for students and faculty (Julie K. Henderson, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2001)
  • Dirty Words and Dangerous Ideas: How to teach the realities of book banning (Kim Landon, Utica, 2001)
  • Researching, Creating and Designing a Legal Research Web Page: How to introduce media law graduate students to the world of legal research on the Internet (Sandra F. Chance, Florida, 2002)
  • Beyond Schindler’s List: How to understand the importance of government in the sunshine by keeping public records/meetings open to all (Kenneth C. Killebrew, South Florida, 2002)
  • Enliven History and Public Record Research – in the Cemetery: How to use the local cemetery to teach public record research and history in a reporting class (Carol S. Lomicky, Nebraska-Kearney, 2002)
  • Project Access: How to provide students hands-on experience with the Freedom of Information Act (Terry L. Wimmer, West Virginia, 2002)
  • Bringing the Courtroom into the Classroom: How to make libel a reality for news writing students (Juanita Darling, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2003)
  • The First Amendment Campaign: How to get students to think more deeply about free speech (Kim Golombisky, South Florida, 2005)
  • Get Them Up and Moving: How to bring active learning to a large lecture hall (Amy Mattson Lauters, Wichita State, 2006)
  • Calming the Seas: How to focus and engage large lecture classes (Diana Knott Martinelli, 2006)
  • Finding that Dream House without FOI Nightmares (David Cuillier, Arizona, 2006)
  • Bleachers of Fury: How to teach freedom of information through an interactive role-playing slideshow (David Cuillier, Arizona, 2007)
  • The Village People: How to use a role-playing simulation to teach public affairs reporting and freedom of information (David Cuillier, Arizona, 2008)
  • Ethics Lesson Plan: How to teach journalism ethics using Megan’s Law on campus(Tamara L. Gillis, Elizabethtown, 2008)

Here are just some of the resources available for class exercises for media law. Share your great ideas by sending them along to Matt Telleen at telleenm@etown.edu.

  • ASNE High School Journalism lesson plans: More than 250 teaching ideas, including a First Amendment section with titles such as Exploring the First Amendment, and Celebrating Sunshine Week, as well as lesson plans on libel, prior restraint, privacy, and other media law issues.
  • First Amendment Schools: Sponsored by the First Amendment Center, this site includes a First Amendment 101 Challenge (20 questions online) and lesson plans on the First Amendment.
  • New York Times Learning Network: This site contains journalism lesson plans geared toward grades 3-12 in New York schools, but a lot of ideas can be applied to the college classroom. Keyword searchable.
  • The Oyez Project A multimedia archive devoted to the U.S. Supreme Court and its work. The site aims to be a complete source for all audio recorded in the Court, and the site therefore archives oral arguments and opinion announcements, which instructors can play in class. The Project also offers a virtual reality “tour” of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.
  • Society of Professional Journalists: The Society of Professional Journalists is compiling journalism class presentations and exercises to eventually create a searchable online database. Already the group has begun posting online some exercises for educators.
  • Student Press Law Center: Includes resources for students, an online First Amendment quiz (30 questions), automated public records request letter generator, and media law lessons with PowerPoint files and notes (copyright, FOI, privacy, libel, etc.).
  • The U.S. Supreme Court’s Web siteThe Court’s site includes, among other things, biographies of current justices, a comprehensive listing of each justice who has sat on the Court, oral argument transcripts, and the Court’s docket, along with a wealth of other resources.

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