Here’s my latest media law lecture, delivered to the first years at the University of Huddersfield today. It’s on privacy law, including the emerging case law from Max Mosley and others, breach of confidence and injunctions. There are also some extra bits on how to avoid unnecessary intrusion into people’s lives as well as Freedom of Information, one of my favourite topics.
I delivered my latest media law lecture to the journalism and media first years at the University of Huddersfield this morning. It was on copyright law, with a particular focus on the law as it applies to social media.
It’s a bit of a challenge making copyright law interesting enough to sustain the attention of several dozen students in a large lecture hall for close to an hour. But I did my best, using clips and examples ranging from the IT Crowd, the recent plagiarism row involving Carly Fallon and the Press and Journal, the familiar story of Peter Pan and Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as who exactly owns what on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Wikipedia, Flickr and all the rest.
Not that YouTube views necessarily translate into cash in the till. But in just a few years of these adverts, John Lewis has apparently managed to supplant Coca-Cola as the big brand that ‘says’ Christmas. That’s except for viewers in Scotland, who still seem to love Irn Bru’s version of the Snowman best of all.
I had one hour today to introduce a lecture hall of nearly 200 first year students from various courses to how the internet has affected journalism. Admittedly, it was just an introduction, but even so it was pretty hard to condense it into a single lecture. I did my best.
At one stage I brought up the recent purchase of the Washington Post by Jeff Bezos for the relatively small sum of £160m, and pointed out that was roughly what Johnston Press paid for the rather less grand Scotsman just eight years ago. Showing a picture of Woodward and Bernstein, I started to say that they would probably be turning in their graves at the low valuation of their famous old paper, then realised they’re both still alive. Change really has come quickly to the news business.
My third media law lecture to the first year students at the University of Huddersfield was today. It was all about defamation, with a special section reflecting on the various strands of the Lord McAlpine case. It also took in the new defences included in the 2013 Defamation Act.
I delivered my second media law lecture to the first years at the University of Huddersfield today. It was on crime and courts, including Contempt of Court and looking at issues including the naming of suspects and cameras in courts.
As part of my teaching commitments in my new job at the University of Huddersfield, I’m giving the media law lectures during the first year Journalism Principles and Practice module.
The first one was today, and it was a general introduction to the law and the English legal system plus a canter through the PCC and Ofcom regulations. In an attempt to make it more engaging to an audience of mostly teenagers, it included a gratuitous mention of Harry Styles from One Direction.
I’m teaching the first year Broadcast Journalists at the University of Leeds again this semester, and along with a series of practicals I gave them a lecture last week. It covered a few of the familiar themes I like to bang on about, including how journalists can make use of public documents, open data and FOI, the world of hyperlocal journalism, and some other trends in digital.
I also got a mention in for the new local TV stations due to launch later in the year, including Made In Leeds. Given the relatively low budgets the channels will have to play with, I imagine recent graduates like the ones I teach in Leeds and elsewhere may well make up the bulk of their staff.
My latest lecture to my international MA students at the University of Leeds was about hyperlocal news. It’s something I know a good bit about, having set up and run Saddleworth News for a couple of years, so hopefully I was able to give them an interesting perspective on this area of the media.
I explained to them that, while I learned a lot from running Saddleworth News, I was unable to find an answer to the problem of how to make journalism, and in particular websites featuring local journalism, pay. But then if I’d found that secret, something tells me I don’t think I’d have been there today giving a lecture!
I’ve got one more lecture to give after Easter, and I’ve been doing a series of eight practical sessions teaching them practical journalism skills too. I’ve also been doing more teaching with the first year Broadcast Journalism undergrads, and I’ve got them all to find a local site in their hometowns to discuss in seminars later in the week, so it’ll be interesting to get their views on the value or otherwise of hyperlocal.