Mount St. Mary's University

Department of Communication Studies


COMM 335  •  Spring, 2017
COMMUNICATION LAW & ETHICS
Thursdays, 6:00 – 8:45 p.m.
223 Knott Academic Center
3 credits




Cartoon | The first philosopher | Globalism | Journalism ethics | Law & ethics
Law dictionary | Music to study by | OK, more music | Politics | Rules of the air

National Debt Clock

TEXTS:  {1} Don R. Pember & Clay Calvert, Mass Media Law, 19th ed. (Looseleaf, 2015; ISBN 9781259343261)

and {2} Philip Patterson & Lee Wilkins, Media Ethics:  Issues and Cases, 8th ed. (2014; ISBN 9781308041049)

«REQUIRED» five-minute video:  Et Plagieringseventyr (press the CC button if English subtitles don't appear)

Good movies:  Fair Game (2010)  ‡  Thrive (2011; free)  ‡  Kill the Messenger (2014)  ‡  Scientism Exposed (2016; free)  ‡  Snowden (2016)



 
COURSE DESCRIPTION:  An examination of the law of the field of communications as well as its history and effects.  Current ethical issues are explored through case studies.  Analysis of legal and ethical issues affecting the media, including the First Amendment, defamation, privacy, newsgathering, obscenity, copyright and broadcasting/telecommunications, and the views of philosophers from Socrates to the present.




STILL WITH US
Jeremy Bentham today
University College London
"[T]hese two extremes ought not to be practiced . . . .  (What are the two?)  There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.  Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (the Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana.  And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata . . . ?  It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely:  right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration."
--Prince Siddhârtha Gautama (The Buddha, a near contemporary of Socrates). Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) (emphasis added).

Analyze THIS!"Archetypes can be understood and described . . . in mythic terms as gods and goddesses (or what Blake called 'the Immortals'), in Platonic terms as transcendent first principles and numinous Ideas . . . in Aristotelian terms as immanent universals and dynamic indwelling forms . . . in a Kantian mode as a priori categories of perception and cognition . . . in the Freudian mode as primordial instincts impelling and structuring biological and psychological processes, or in the Jungian manner as fundamental formal principles of the human psyche, universal expressions of a collective unconscious and, ultimately, of the unus mundus. . . .  Archetypes possess a reality that is both objective and subjective, one that informs both outer cosmos and inner human psyche, 'as above, so below.'"
--Richard Tarnas.  Cosmos and Psyche:  Intimations of a New World View. NY: Plume–Penguin Group, 2006.

"Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.  In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press.  It stops at sensational formulas."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  "A World Split Apart."  An Address at Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises, June 8, 1978.

"The TV business is uglier than most things.  It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason."
--Hunter S. Thompson.  Generation of Swine:  Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s. NY:  Summit Books, 1988.


Assignments

CLASS:
DATE (2017)

PEMBER (LAW) TEXT PATTERSON (ETHICS) TEXT BRIEFS AND ORALS
#1:
19 January
Chapter 1
(The American Legal System.)
Pages xiii-xviii & 1-37
(An Introduction to Ethical Decision Making.
Information Ethics:
A Profession Seeks the Truth.)
MD Seal
#2:
26 January

Chapter 2
(The First Amendment:

The Meaning of Freedom.)

Pages 37-63
(Information Ethics:
A Profession Seeks the Truth.
Strategic Communication:
Does Client Advocate Mean Consumer Adversary?)

Near v. State of Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S.Ct. 625 (1931)
Mills v. State of Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 86 S.Ct. 1434 (1966)
Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commission, 395 U.S. 367, 89 S.Ct. 1794 (1969)
Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241, 94 S.Ct. 2831 (1974)
Herceg v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 814 F.2d 1017 (1987)
Leathers v. Medlock, 499 U.S. 439, 111 S.Ct. 1438 (1991)
#3:
2 February
Chapter 3
(The First Amendment:
Contemporary Problems.)
Pages 63-80
(Strategic Communication:
Does Client Advocate Mean Consumer Adversary?)
Simon & Shuster, Inc. v. Members of New York State Crime Victims Board, 502 U.S. 105, 112 S.Ct. 501 (1991)
Rice v. Paladin Enterprises, Inc., 128 F.3d 233 (1997)
Flynt v. Rumsfeld, 355 F.3d 697 (2004)
Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. v. Wikileaks, 535 F.Supp.2d 980 (2008)
Doe v. Reed, 130 S.Ct. 2811, 177 L.Ed.2d 493 (2010)
#4:
9 February
Chapters 4 and 5
(Libel:
Establishing a Case.
Libel:
Proof of Fault.)
Pages 81-86
(Loyalty:
Choosing Between Competing Allegiances.)
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710 (1964)
Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 94 S.Ct. 2997 (1974)
Matherson v. Marchello, 100 A.D.2d 233, 473 N.Y.S.2d 998 (1984)
Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Hepps, 475 U.S. 767, 106 S.Ct. 1558 (1986)
Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 108 S.Ct. 876 (1988)
#5:
16 February


2nd ½ = Exam #1
Chapter 6
(Libel:
Defenses and Damages.)

LAW CHAPTERS 1-6
Pages 86-90
(Loyalty:
Choosing Between Competing Allegiances.)

ETHICS PAGES 1-90
Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 110 S.Ct. 2695 (1990)
MacElree v. Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., 544 Pa. 117, 674 A.2d 1050 (1996)
Zeran v. America Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327 (1997)
WFAA-TV, Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S.W.2d 568 (1998)
Howell v. Enterprise Publishing Co., LLC, 455 Mass. 641, 920 N.E.2d 1 (2010)
#6:
23 February
Chapter 7
(Invasion of Privacy:
Appropriation
and Intrusion.)
Pages 91-121
(Loyalty:
Choosing Between Competing Allegiances.
Privacy:
Looking for Solitude in the Global Village.)
Shulman v. Group W Productions, Inc., 18 Cal.4th 200, 955 P.2d 469 (1998)
Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., 20 Cal.4th 907, 978 P.2d 67 (1999)
Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514, 121 S.Ct. 1753 (2001)
Taus v. Loftus, 40 Cal.4th 683, 151 P.2d 1185 (2007)
#7:
2 March
Chapter 8
(Invasion of Privacy:
Publication of Private Information
and False Light.)
Pages 121-169
(Privacy:
Looking for Solitude in the Global Village.
Mass Media in a Democratic Society:
Keeping a Promise.
Media Economics:
The Deadline Meets the Bottom Line.)
Florida Star v. B. J. F., 491 U.S. 524, 109 S.Ct. 2603 (1989)
Haynes v. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 8 F.3d 1222 (1993)
Toffoloni v. LFP Publishing Group, LLC, 572 F.3d 1201 (2009)
Cantrell v. Forest City Publishing Co., 419 U.S. 245, 95 S.Ct. 465 (1974)

No Class:
9 March


. . .

. . .

. . .
#8:
16 March
Chapter 9
(Gathering Information:
Records and Meetings.)
Pages 169-173
(Media Economics:
The Deadline Meets the Bottom Line.)
Sherrill v. Knight, 569 F.2d 124 (1977)
Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 438 U.S. 1, 98 S.Ct. 2588 (1978)
City of Oak Creek v. Ah King, 148 Wis.2d 532, 436 N.W.2d 285 (1989)
Berger v. Hanlon, 129 F.3d 505 (1997)
Food Lion, Inc. v. Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., 194 F.3d 505 (1999)
#9:
23 March
Chapter 10
(Protection of News Sources/
Contempt Power.)
Pages 174-200
(Media Economics:
The Deadline Meets the Bottom Line.
Picture This:
The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism.)
National Archives and Records Administration v. Favish, 541 U.S. 157, 124 S.Ct. 1570 (2004)
Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 92 S.Ct. 2646 (1972)
Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., 501 U.S. 663, 111 S.Ct. 2513 (1991)
Gonzalez v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 194 F.3d 29 (1999)
O'Grady v. Superior Court, 139 Cal.App.4th 1423 (2006)
#10:
30 March




2nd ½ = Exam #2
Chapter 11
(Free Press--Fair Trial:
Trial-level Remedies
and Restrictive Orders.)


LAW CHAPTERS 7-11
Pages 200-212
(Picture This:
The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism.)



ETHICS PAGES 91-212
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539, 96 S.Ct. 2791 (1976)
Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia, 435 U.S. 829, 98 S.Ct. 1535 (1978)
Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co., 443 U.S. 97, 99 S.Ct. 2667 (1979)
Beaufort County Board of Education v. Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, 645 S.E.2d 857 (2007)
#11:
6 April
Chapters 12 and 13
(Free Press--Fair Trial:
Closed Judicial Proceedings.
Regulation of Obscene
and Other Erotic Material.)
Pages 212-223
(Picture This:
The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism.)
Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 100 S.Ct. 2814 (1980)
Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 104 S.Ct. 2199 (1984)
Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California for Riverside County, 478 U.S. 1, 106 S.Ct. 2735 (1986)

No Class:
13 April


. . .

. . .

. . .
#12:
20 April
Chapter 14
(Copyright.)
Pages 223-247
(Picture This:
The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism.
New Media:
Continuing Questions and New Roles.)
Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 117 S.Ct. 2329 (1997)
Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 105 S.Ct. 2218 (1985)
Braun v. Soldier of Fortune Magazine, Inc., 968 F.2d 1110 (1992)
#13:
27 April
Chapter 15
(Regulation of Advertising.)
Pages 247-273
(New Media:
Continuing Questions and New Roles.
The Ethical Dimensions of Art and Entertainment.)
CBS, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, 453 U.S. 367, 101 S.Ct. 2813 (1981)
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, 512 U.S. 622, 114 S.Ct. 2445 (1994)
Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association, Inc. v. United States, 527 U.S. 173, 119 S.Ct. 1923 (1999)
#14:
4 May
Chapter 16
(Telecommunications Regulation.)
Pages 273-293
(The Ethical Dimensions of Art and Entertainment.
Becoming a Moral Adult.)
United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U.S. 803, 120 S.Ct. 1878 (2000)
Comcast Corporation v. Federal Communications Commission, 600 F.3d 642 (2010)
Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, 613 F.3d 317 (2010)

#15:
11 May, 6:00 p.m.
FINAL EXAM

LAW CHAPTERS 12-16 ETHICS PAGES 212-293 Maryland Judiciary




Student Learning Outcomes
COMM 335 Course Objectives:
By the end of this course, students should be able to

Corresponding Communication Studies Departmental Objectives:
By the end of this course, students should be able to
Corresponding MSM Undergraduate Program Goals:
The University intends the whole of its undergraduate program to enable students to
1. Summarize the process and result of judicial analysis and apply it to real-life situations. Understand the rhetorical and historical contexts of communication.
Understand how communication and theories about it have differed over time and place.
Understand the role and impact of media in society.
Understand their own and others' writing practices.
Be computer literate.
Understand, evaluate, and respond appropriately to others' communication.
2. Integrate diverse modes of human inquiry and expression through rigorous study of the Western tradition, including its American expression.
4. Understand the purposes and concepts of at least one major field of study and become proficient in its methodology.
5. See and seek to respond with justice and solidarity to all in the global community, to protect human dignity, to work for peace and freedom, and to respect the integrity of creation.
6. Continue a life of learning, growth in faith and mature spirituality, and service to the common good.
2. Compare and contrast schools of ethical thought and apply them to real-life situations. Understand the role and impact of media in society.
Comprehend and demonstrate in practice the fundamental ethical principles of the communication discipline.
1. Understand and articulate the Catholic vision of the human person, particularly as it relates to the nature of the good, the relationship between faith and reason, and the human relationship with God.
2. Integrate diverse modes of human inquiry and expression through rigorous study of the Western tradition, including its American expression.
4. Understand the purposes and concepts of at least one major field of study and become proficient in its methodology.
5. See and seek to respond with justice and solidarity to all in the global community, to protect human dignity, to work for peace and freedom, and to respect the integrity of creation.
6. Continue a life of learning, growth in faith and mature spirituality, and service to the common good.
3. List and describe legal rights and duties of the media. Understand the role and impact of media in society.
Understand, evaluate, and respond appropriately to others' communication.
2. Integrate diverse modes of human inquiry and expression through rigorous study of the Western tradition, including its American expression.
4. Understand the purposes and concepts of at least one major field of study and become proficient in its methodology.
5. See and seek to respond with justice and solidarity to all in the global community, to protect human dignity, to work for peace and freedom, and to respect the integrity of creation.
6. Continue a life of learning, growth in faith and mature spirituality, and service to the common good.
4. Present complex concepts orally and in writing. Understand the rhetorical and historical contexts of communication.
Understand the nature and practice of persuasion.
Write for a variety of audiences and situations.
Understand their own and others' writing practices.
Edit writing.
Understand, evaluate, and respond appropriately to others' communication.
Speak well in public.
3. Master the skills of analysis, interpretation, communication, and problem solving.
4. Understand the purposes and concepts of at least one major field of study and become proficient in its methodology.
6. Continue a life of learning, growth in faith and mature spirituality, and service to the common good.
5. Use effective expository English (yes, this is an English course). Understand the rhetorical and historical contexts of communication.
Understand the nature and practice of persuasion.
Write for a variety of audiences and situations.
Understand their own and others' writing practices.
Edit writing.
Understand, evaluate, and respond appropriately to others' communication.
Speak well in public.
3. Master the skills of analysis, interpretation, communication, and problem solving.
4. Understand the purposes and concepts of at least one major field of study and become proficient in its methodology.
6. Continue a life of learning, growth in faith and mature spirituality, and service to the common good.




ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  At Mount St. Mary's University, we believe that an academic community "must operate with complete openness, honesty, and integrity" (Undergraduate Catalog, p. 51).  To this end, there are certain activities that our community does not countenance.  These include, but are not limited to the following:
{1}  Cheating, which the University defines as "the unauthorized use or exchange of information before or during a quiz, test, or semester examination" (p. 51).  Also included in this definition are unauthorized collaboration on a class assignment, submitting the same work in two courses without the professor’s permission, buying or selling work for a course, and electronically submitting an intentionally corrupted file.
{2}  Plagiarism, which the University defines as "the representation of words or ideas as one’s own" (p. 51).  Acts that constitute plagiarism include copying homework assignments, submitting papers that someone else has written for you in whole or in part, and failing to cite references properly in your written assignments and oral reports.
{3}  Acting in cooperation with another in an act of academic misconduct (p. 51).  The University regards these students as guilty as the person who commits the offense.
Anyone found to be engaging in these activities will receive a failing grade for the assignment and/or the course and will be reported to Dr. Peter Dorsey, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.  Please refer to pages 51 through 52 of the Undergraduate Catalog for further information.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Students should complete all assigned readings by the dates indicated.
There will be three exams; each will include Law (52%) and Ethics (48%).  The Law portion of the exams will be non-cumulative; the Ethics portion of the exams will be cumulative as to the philosophies and philosophers but non-cumulative as to the cases.
In addition each student will be assigned several briefs and oral reports, which will be graded 50% on communication skills and 50% on law.
The first 2.5 absences from class are excused, regardless of the reason (unless you miss an examination or your own oral presentation).
  ALL cuts beyond the first 2.5 are UNexcused REGARDLESS OF THE REASON and will result in a reduction of the grade for the course.  Arriving late or leaving early will be counted as a partial cut.
Make-up exams are allowed only in cases of the most extreme emergency and ordinarily must be arranged and taken BEFORE the scheduled date.
The instructor reserves the right to alter course content or adjust the pace of class and assignments in order to accommodate class projects.

GRADING:  Components will be weighted as follows:  Exam #1, 20%; Exam #2, 20%; Final Exam, 20%; and Briefs & Oral Reports, 40%.  Normative standards are 96-100% = A; 91-95% = A-; 86-90% = B+; 81-85 = B; 76-80% = B-; 71-75% = C+; 66-70% = C; 61-65% = C-; 56-60% = D+; 51-55% = D; 46-50% = D-; 0-45% = F.  The instructor reserves the right to curve the grades if he feels that doing so would more accurately reflect the quality of the class's work.

BRIEFS & ORALS--Here's What You Do:
(1)  Locate your assigned case using Lexis-Nexis Academic (see Lexis-Nexis tutorials on Youtube).
(2)  Read the entire case.
(3)  Write a "brief" on your case, using the format of this example but DOUBLE-SPACED; you may exceed the maximum word count if necessary.  Be sure to include a short summary of any concurring and/or dissenting opinions.  Follow all rules contained in the MLA Handbook, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or similar style guide, with three exceptions:  no cover page is necessary; sentences should be separated by TWO SPACES, not one; and citations and References/Works Cited are not required.
(4)  Prepare an oral report to teach the case to your classmates.  Use index cards only.  Do not read your brief!  This is boring.
Briefs and oral reports are due on the date indicated without exception.  If you will be absent on the date indicated, it is your responsibility to switch cases with another student; if you are absent and have not switched, you will receive an "F" for this exercise.  Even so, at least be sure to turn in your brief on time; one letter grade is deducted for each day that it is late.

STATEMENT ON DISABILITY:  Mount St. Mary's University welcomes otherwise-qualified students with disabilities to participate in all of its courses, programs, and activities.  In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all students with documented disabilities will be provided reasonable accommodation in this course.  If you have a documented disability and require accommodations to access course material, activities, or requirements, you must (1) speak with Denise Marjarum, Director of Learning Services, by phone at (301) 447-5006 or to visit her personally on the first floor of Borders Hall, and (2) meet with me, the instructor, within two weeks of receiving a copy of the accommodation letter from Learning Services to discuss your accommodation needs and their implementation.




Dickinson College  The instructor for this course is Dr. William Martin Sloane.  An Anglican bishop and a Maryland/Pennsylvania attorney, he is chair of the American College of Counselors, past chair of the American Board of Forensic Counselors, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Students are welcome to contact him at any time with questions or problems.
    Office:  212 Knott Academic Center
    Hours:  Before and after class and by appointment
    E:  [email protected], [email protected]
    Phone:  (717) 249-1069
  1st Birthday



HINTS: Know these law cases by name

Examination #1 (Spring 2017; page references are to Pember text):
Lawrence v. Texas (2003), p. 5
Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010), pp. 10, 24, 134-135
United States v. Stevens (2010), pp. 10, 49
John Peter Zenger (1735), pp. 37-38
Plame Wilson v. Central Intelligence Agency (2009), p. 76
United States v. Bell (2005), pp. 80-81
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), pp. 85-86, 94-96
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988), pp. 86, 89-91, 96
Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986), pp. 86, 95-96
Morse v. Frederick (2007), pp. 97-98
Snyder v. Phelps (2011), p. 125
New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), pp. 176-178, 200, 207, 246


Examination #2 (Spring 2017; page references are to Pember text):
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976), pp. 12, 456-457
Federal Communications Commission v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (2011), pp. 256, 363
Branzburg v. Hayes (1972), pp. 323, 329, 402-404, 410-411, 422
Milner v. Department of the Navy (2011), p. 352
Cohen v. Cowles Media Co. (1991), pp. 399-400
Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger (2011), p. 420
O'Grady v. Superior Court (2006), p. 421
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (1978), p. 422
Zurcher v. Stanford Daily (1978), pp. 430-431


Final Examination (Spring 2017; page references are to Pember text):
Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988), pp. 209-210
Roth v. United States (1957), pp. 498, 502
Miller v. California (1973), pp. 498-500, 503-509, 515, 519, 525-526
Regina v. Hicklin (1868), pp. 501-502
Church & Dwight Co. v. Clorox Co. (2012), p. 596



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