Elizabethtown College

Department of Communications

COM 248 -- Spring, 2012
Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:15 p.m.
101 Steinman Center
4 credits
(COM 120 is prerequisite)

Cartoon 1 | Cartoon 2 | Ethics codes | Law & ethics | The first philosopher | Legal dictionaries | Music to study by | OK, more music | Rules of the air

Dr. Sloane's next appearance on Pennsylvania Cable Network's In Session:  Sunday 22 & 29 January 2012, 6:00 p.m.

National Debt Clock

TEXTS:  {1}  Don R. Pember & Clay Calvert, Mass Media Law, 17th edn. (2011; ISBN-13 9780073511979)

{2}  Philip Patterson & Lee Wilkins, Media Ethics:  Issues and Cases, 7th edn. (2011; ISBN-13 9780073511948)

REQUIRED Five-Minute Video:  Et Plagieringseventyr (press the CC button if subtitles don't appear)

Recommended Movies:  The Matrix, Keanu Reeves & Laurence Fishburne; Burzynski, Stanislaw R. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. (watch it free here)

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Rochester Comm/Tech College

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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."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  Commencement address, Harvard University, June 7, 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.


DATE (2012)

19 January
Preface, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2
(The American Legal System.
The First Amendment:  The Meaning of Freedom)
. . . Subliminal message:  I love this course
26 January
Chapter 3
(The First Amendment:  Contemporary Problems)
Pages xi-xvi and 1-9
(Foreword.  Preface.
An Introduction to Ethical Decision Making)
Near v. Minnesota, 1 MLR 1001 (1931)
Mills v. Alabama, 1 MLR 1334 (1966)
Red Lion v. FCC, 1 MLR 2053 (1969)
Miami v. Tornillo, 1 MLR 1898 (1974)
Herceg v. Hustler, 13 MLR 2345 (1988)
2 February
Chapter 4
(Libel:  Establishing a Case)
Pages 9-49
(An Introduction to Ethical Decision Making.
Information Ethics:  A Profession Seeks the Truth)
Leathers v. Medlock, 18 MLR 1953 (1991)
Simon v. New York, 19 MLR 1609 (1991)
Rice v. Paladin, 25 MLR 2441 (1998)
Flynt v. Rumsfeld, 32 MLR 1289 (2004)
Bank v. Wikileaks, 36 MLR 1473 (2008)
9 February
Chapter 5
(Libel:  Proof of Fault).
For a free MP3 download of part of this lecture,
as well as part of the lecture for Class #12, click here.
Pages 50-84
(Information Ethics:  A Profession Seeks the Truth.
Strategic Communication:
Does Client Advocate Mean Consumer Adversary?)
Doe v. Reed, 38 MLR 1833 (2010)
N.Y. Times v. Sullivan, 1 MLR 1527 (1964)
Gertz v. Robert Welch, 1 MLR 1633 (1974)
Philadelphia v. Hepps, 12 MLR 1977 (1986)
Hustler v. Falwell, 14 MLR 2281 (1988)
16 February

2d ˝ = Speaker
Chapter 6
(Libel:  Defenses and Damages)

Kalen Churcher
Pages 85-87
(Strategic Communication:
Does Client Advocate Mean Consumer Adversary?)

Bowers Writers House
Milkovich v. Lorain, 17 MLR 2009 (1990)
MacElree v. Philadelphia, 24 MLR 2204 (1996)
Zeran v. America, 25 MLR 2526 (1997)
WFAA v. McLemore, 26 MLR 2385 (1998)
Howell v. Enterprise, 38 MLR 1141 (2010)
23 February
EXAM #1 (Chapters 1-6)

Chapter 7
(Invasion of Privacy:  Appropriation and Intrusion)
EXAM #1 (Pages 1-87)

Pages 88-126
(Strategic Communication:
Does Client Advocate Mean Consumer Adversary?
Loyalty:  Choosing between Competing Allegiances.
Privacy:  Looking for Solitude in the Global Village)
Shulman v. Group W, 26 MLR 1737 (1998)
Sanders v. American, 27 MLR 2025 (1999)
Bartnicki v. Vopper, 29 MLR 1737 (2001)
Taus v. Loftus, 35 MLR 1657 (2007)
1 March
Chapter 8
(Invasion of Privacy:
Publication of Private Information and False Light)
Pages 126-169
(Privacy:  Looking for Solitude in the Global Village.
Mass Media in a Democratic Society:  Keeping a Promise)
Florida Star v. B. J. F., 16 MLR 1801 (1989)
Haynes v. A. A. Knopf, 21 MLR 2161 (1993)
Toffoloni v. LFP, 37 MLR 1897 (2009)
Cantrell v. Forest, 1 MLR 1815 (1974)

No Class:
8 March

. . .

. . .

. . .
15 March
Chapter 9
(Gathering Information:  Records and Meetings)
Pages 170-182
(Mass Media in a Democratic Society:  Keeping a Promise.
Media Economics:  The Deadline Meets the Bottom Line)
Sherrill v. Knight, 3 MLR 1514 (1977)
Houchins v. KQED, 3 MLR 2521 (1978)
Oak Creek v. Ah King, 16 MLR 1273 (1989)
Berger v. Hanlon, 25 MLR 2505 (1997)
Food Lion v. Capital, 27 MLR 2409 (1999)
22 March
Chapter 10
(Protection of News Sources/Contempt Power)
Pages 182-209
(Media Economics:  The Deadline Meets the Bottom Line.
Picture This:  The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism)
National v. Favish, 32 MLR 1545 (2004)
Branzburg v. Hayes, 1 MLR 2617 (1972)
Cohen v. Cowles, 18 MLR 2273 (1991)
Gonzalez v. National, 27 MLR 2459 (1999)
O'Grady v. Superior, 34 MLR 2089 (2006)
29 March

2d ˝ = Exam #2
Chapter 11
(Free Press--Fair Trial:
Trial-level Remedies and Restrictive Orders)

Pages 209-221
(Picture This:  The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism)

Nebraska v. Stuart, 1 MLR 1064 (1976)
Landmark v. Virginia, 3 MLR 2153 (1978)
Smith v. Daily Mail, 5 MLR 1305 (1979)
Beaufort v. Beaufort, 35 MLR 2018 (2007)

No Class:
5 April

. . .

. . .

. . .
12 April
Chapters 12 and 13
(Free Press--Fair Trial:  Closed Judicial Proceedings.  Regulation of Obscene and Other Erotic Material)
Pages 222-238
(Picture This:  The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism)
Richmond v. Virginia, 6 MLR 1833 (1980)
Seattle v. Rhinehart, 10 MLR 1705 (1984)
Press v. Riverside, 13 MLR 1001 (1986)
19 April
Chapter 14
(Copyright).  You may want to listen to the second half
of the MP3 download from Class #4
Pages 239-260
(Picture This:  The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism.
New Media:  Continuing Questions and New Roles)
Reno v. ACLU, 25 MLR 1833 (1997)
Harper v. Nation, 11 MLR 1969 (1985)
26 April
Chapter 15
(Regulation of Advertising)
Pages 261-290
(New Media:  Continuing Questions and New Roles.
The Ethical Dimensions of Art and Entertainment)
Braun v. Soldier, 20 MLR 1777 (1993)
CBS v. FCC, 7 MLR 1563 (1981)
Turner v. FCC, 22 MLR 1865 (1994)
3 May
Chapter 16
(Telecommunications Regulation)
Pages 291-312
(The Ethical Dimensions of Art and Entertainment.
Becoming a Moral Adult)
Greater v. U.S., 27 MLR 1769 (1999)
U.S. v. Playboy, 28 MLR 1801 (2000)
Fox v. F.C.C., 38 MLR 1993 (2010)

#15:  6:30 p.m.
10 May

LAW CHAPTERS 12-16 ETHICS PAGES 222-312 . . .

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.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:  By the end of this course, students should be able to [1] summarize the process and result of judicial analysis and apply it to real-life situations; [2] compare and contrast schools of ethical thought and apply them to real-life situations; [3] list and describe legal rights and duties of the media; [4] present complex concepts orally and in writing; and [5] use effective expository English (yes, this is an English 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.  Students are expected to abide by the principles set out in the booklet "Academic Integrity at Elizabethtown College" [most recent edition].  The first 2.5 absences 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, 25%; Exam #2, 25%; Final Exam, 25%; and Briefs & Oral Reports, 25%.  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)  Find the Media Law Reporter in the reference section of the library.  (2)  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 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, with two exceptions:  sentences should be separated by TWO SPACES, not one; and documentation within your brief is not necessary.  (3)  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:  Elizabethtown College welcomes otherwise-qualified students with disabilities to participate in all of its courses, programs, and activities.  If you have a documented disability and require accommodations to access course material, activities, or requirements, you must (1) Contact the Director of Disability Services, Lynne Davies, in the Center for Student Success, BSC 228, by phone (361-1227) or email [email protected].  (2) Meet with me, the instructor, within two weeks of receiving a copy of the accommodation letter from Disability Services to discuss your accommodation needs and their implementation.

Honest Lawyer The instructor for this course is Dr. William Martin Sloane.  An attorney in Maryland and Pennsylvania and an Anglican/Old Catholic bishop, he chairs the American College of Counselors and is 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:  206D Steinman Center
      Hours:  Before and after class and by appointment
      E:  [email protected], [email protected]
      Phone:  (717) 249-1069
Why aren't you studying?

HINTS:  Know these law cases by name

Examination #1 (Spring 2012; page references are to Pember text):

United States v. Bell (2005), p. 71
Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969), pp. 88-91, 97
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988), pp. 90-95, 97
Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986), pp. 90, 96-97
Morse v. Frederick (2007), pp. 98-99
AP v. Walker and Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts (1967), pp. 170, 177, 193-95

Examination #2 (Spring 2012; page references are to Pember text):

Baltimore Sun v. Ehrlich (2006), p. 311

Final Examination (Spring 2012; page references are to Pember text):

Press-Enterprise v. Riverside Superior Court (1984), pp. 309, 450
Press-Enterprise v. Riverside Superior Court (1986), pp. 440, 449
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission (1980), pp. 551-52

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