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MC 101 2/16, 2/18, and 2/23 Notes

by: Julia Landon

MC 101 2/16, 2/18, and 2/23 Notes MC 101 - Intro to Mass Communications

Julia Landon

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About this Document

Notes from three class periods.
Intro to Mass Communications
Christopher Roberts
Class Notes
MC 101, Mass Comm, mass communications, UA, bama, university of alabama
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Landon on Wednesday February 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MC 101 - Intro to Mass Communications at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Christopher Roberts in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Intro to Mass Communications in Communication at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.

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Date Created: 02/24/16
2/16/16 • Apparently 1 in 3 people can’t name a single part of the first amendment o 1 in 4 Americans believe we have too many freedoms • Your first amendment o Religion o Speech o Press o Peaceably assemble o Petition the government • Scalia was apparently a huge supporter of the first amendment • The bottom line on speech protection o Some types of speech get more protection § Political speech gets more protection, then underneath it is artistic speech then commercial speech, and then indecent speech gets less protection. • The key areas of media law o Personal rights (defamation [libel, slander], privacy) o Intellectual property rights (copyright, trademark, patents) o News-gathering rights (sunshine laws, freedom of ____________) • Milton’s Marketplace: a reminder from the “4 theories" • Alien and Sedition Acts o Said it is against the law for anyone to say or write ugly things about the government or president. o Matthew Lyon was writing some really ugly things about John Adams, so under this act, he was arrested. Ran for reelection, and won (even though he was still in jail). In the election of 1800, Lyon has the final electoral vote, and voted for Jefferson • Lincoln and free speech, who arrested newspaper writers for writing • In 1918, Ben Gitlow was arrested for telling people to throw away their draft cards because it was a “war for rich people" • Who’s the press? o A blogger? A guy who doesn’t work for a traditional outlet? o The government never says, so it becomes case by case. o A couple of years ago, Alabama senators wanted to decide/define what a journalist is • The balancing effect o What follows: a list of values we balance free speech against. o Competition between the first amendment and things that may matter more. o Examples § Political speech • Such as burning the American flag • It’s even “okay” to lie. For example, people have said they had military medals that they don’t actually have. People are able to say stuff like that, but not make money off of it, such as writing a book about winning a medal of honor when you really didn't § Public airways • Can’t have stuff that’s not appropriate for kids on the airways before like 9pm § A thing to remember is that the government has decided that the internet gets the same protection that newspapers get. § National security • During some times, such as WWII, stuff is censored to protect our troops or to not embarrass us. • For example, during the Nixon administration, the Rand Corp. wrote papers on what went wrong during the Vietnam War, and one of the people thought it wasn’t cool that it was being kept from the public, so he copied them and sent them to the NYT and Washington Post • Prior restraint o The government says you’re not allowed to say/print something before you even do it. • The government did not have the right to tell these newspapers to not print them, because it’s history, and all it would do is embarrass them. • A form of prior restraint that is legal is publishing troop movements § Public endangerment • Endangering the public with your speech is not cool or legal, such as yelling “fire." • Of course, it’s a case by case thing, but if it would injure someone or is a threat to injure someone or cause public fear, it is illegal o Such as the Arthur Pendragon threats towards Tut and the Greeks last year. § Time, place, and manner • Such as if someone were to come into our classroom and start screaming about politics or whatnot, because we’re paying to be in this class and what not. • When you plan a party and register it, you are "subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restriction." • You can’t restrict based on the content of the speech. • Fun fact: it’s against the rules for people who hand out bibles around campus to be on campus without being sponsored by a student organization • Personal rights o Defamation § If it’s print, it’s libel; if it’s speech, it’s slander § For it to be libel, there are some things you have to do (for private figures): • It has to be published; communicated from you to someone else • The person has to be identified • It has to be inaccurate • It has to be proven that it hurt the person’s reputation § For public figures: • It gets harder, because you have to prove the four things (published, identified, inaccurate, and hurt reputation), but it ALSO has to include reckless disregard for truth and/or actual malice. • It’s a much higher level of proof. Many sue, but few win because the standards are so high. § NYT v. Sullivan • An ad said that Alabama was racist, and it said that the police did something they apparently didn’t do o In a 1965 decision, the Supreme Court said that the NYT won, and the Montgomery ruling (that Sullivan won) was overturned. • Journalists need some breathing space to make mistakes, as long as they aren’t premeditated or evil or whatnot. • Harder for people in the public eye to win a libel suit. 2/18/16 Reminder: Test 2 is a week from today. 55-60 questions. February 4-present is what it’s going to be on • Review: Libel is about facts. But what about opinion? ◦ “Fair comment” means opinions are protected free speech. ▪ The Cherry Sisters ▪ A vaudeville act where they put on a show called “The Cherries Are Here.” A journalist called them (in modern terms) “ugly” and “can’t sing a lick." ▪ They sued the journalist because the sisters said it was hurting their business, and courts decided that you can basically say whatever you want as long as it’s an opinion. ◦ It’s okay to criticize ◦ It’s really hard to win a libel suit, but it’s impossible to win an opinion suit ◦ Can’t win a libel suit? Try another tactic. •Privacy ◦ Your right to be left alone and to control your image. ◦ False Light ▪ You have the right to not have something said about you that is true but so misleading that people would think something wrong about you ◦ Publication of private facts ◦ Intrusion ▪ Case by case basis ◦ Misappropriation ▪ Using someone’s picture or likeness without the person knowing ◦ Intentional infliction of emotional distress ▪ Basically when you hurt someone so badly that they sue ▪ Falwell was put in a Hustler parody ad (parodies are legal) and Falwell said he was hurt, so he sued •Pornography (means to write about prostitutes) ◦ Usually legal ◦ Just above indecent speech (aka obscenity, which is usually NOT legal) ◦ Porn = legal, obscenity (aka filth) = not legal ◦ It’s a case by case to determine when it’s [obscenity] legal or not. One Justice (Justice Potter Stewart) said “I know it when I see it.” ◦ Indecent speech gets very little protection •Intellectual Property Rights ◦ Intellectual property ▪ Your right to protect and make money on something you made ◦ Copyright ▪ Music piracy ▪ Copyright law was created to protect sheet music, and then books and other things, and has evolved from there ◦ Trademark ▪ Fixed form of an idea ▪ For example, 6+6=12 cannot be trademarked because it’s an idea, but if you make something, like a shirt, with the idea on it, it can be trademarked ▪ Use something for a news source, and trademark rules don’t apply ◦ Patents (won’t talk much about it) •News-Gathering Rights ◦ Sunshine laws ▪ Unless there’s a specific reason not to, government meetings have to be open to the public. Specific reasons can be property purchases, talking about someone (that might lead to a libel case), or national security. ◦ Freedom of Information Act ▪ Access to government documents, etc. ▪ Argument is that with all the information we create, shouldn’t we be able to see the documents the government creates? ▪ Inspect and make copies of documents, with a few exceptions ▪ There are limits to this, such as releasing grades ▪ And releasing autopsy photos (mostly regarding Dale Earnhardt’s death and ONLY in Florida… You can see the photos in Alabama, but you can’t get 911 calls on the open-record law or whatever) ▪ Laws are different in different states ◦ Shield Laws ▪ Rights of reporters to not reveal confidential sources. ▪ Journalists need to be able to report stuff, but if the people who have the information to share with journalists are scared of sharing the information because they might get bad consequences for being found out of sharing the information ▪ For example the chief of staff of the vice president of the United States committed a felony and got no jail time, but the reporter who protected the chief of staff did. •The bottom line of speech protection ◦ Artistic speech: music, lyrics, photos, art, movies, etc. ▪ Limits made on a case by case basis ▪ Can’t limit because someone might be offended ▪ Only time there’s a restriction is when there is direct and imminent harm ◦ Commercial speech ▪ Anything that’s spoken or written to advertise for a product or something ▪ Less freedom given ▪ Factual lies in a commercial will get into trouble and is not protected ▪ How does the government decide what’s banned and what’s okay? ▪ Supreme Court says courts must decided the about commercial speech: ▪ Whether the speech at issue concerns lawful activity and is not misleading ▪ Whether the asserted government interest is substantial; and if so... ▪ …whether the regulation directly advances the governmental interest asserted; and ▪ Whether it is not more extensive than is necessary to serve that interest •Final word: we should always be able to say whatever we want when we want to unless there’s a specific reason 2/23/14 Test on Thursday!! • Chapter 14: Ethics ◦ External marketing, such as fast food places giving movie-inspired ◦ MPAA ratings being copyrighted ▪ PG-13 movies make more money than PG movies ▪ All it takes is one f-bomb to get a PG-13 rating ▪ What are you going to do? ◦ This discussion differs slightly from the textbook ◦ The “W’s and H” list of questions to ask while making ethical reasons ▪ What’s your problem? ▪ Why not follow the rules? ▪ Who wins; who loses? ▪ What’s it worth? ▪ Who’s whispering in your ear? ▪ How’s your decision going to look? ◦ This case study: my anaconda don’t want none (the movie) ▪ What’s your problem? ▪ Should we market a movie to children where it shouldn’t be marketed ▪ Is this an ethical problem? ▪ Why not follow the rules? ▪ Law =/= ethics ▪ What’s legal is not necessarily ethical, and vice versa. ▪ Legal/ethical is following the speed limit ▪ Illegal/unethical is harming someone (such as sticking a lit cigarette in a child’s eye socket) ▪ Legal/unethical is stand your ground laws, death penalty, rapist seeking parental rights to the child of rape, marijuana, firing someone for being gay, etc. ▪ Illegal/ethical is Rosa Parks sitting in the “white- only” part of the bus. ▪ One can be dishonest, unprincipled, untrustworthy, unfair, and uncaring without breaking the law ▪ Codes of ethics ▪ Such as the Capstone Creed, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the AAF, and the PRSSA. All of these say plagiarism is bad ▪ Issues by interest: PRSSA, SPJ, and AAF AAF The code never defines what’s good taste or public decency Helpful, but not sufficient ▪ Who wins; who loses? ▪ To whom do you have loyalties? ▪ Producers, who’s paying for it, the audience, the company you work for, your own values, other professionals in your industry, the people who work under you, ▪ Conflicting loyalties to: self, audience, employer, profession, society, people in business with ▪ Who deserves the higher loyalties? Everyone deserves it, but not everyone gets the same amount. ▪ Another loyalty question to ponder: “When an organization wants you to do right, it asks for your integrity; when it wants you to do wrong, it demands your loyalty." ▪ What’s it worth? ▪ Values ▪ Values are... ▪ concepts of beliefs ▪ about desirable end states or behaviors ▪ that transcend specific situations ▪ guide our selection or evaluation of behavior or events ▪ ordered by ____ ▪ Importance of values ▪ Values —> beliefs —> attitudes —> roles/skills —> behavior ▪ What values play a role in this dilemma? ▪ Doing something that would be socially responsible v. making money ▪ Who’s whispering in your ear? ▪ Absolutist (deontological) v. Situational (teleological) v. Virtue ethics ▪ Absolutist ▪ Always do the right thing; always do your duty, even it if means turning if your best friend ▪ Categorical imperative Immanuel Kant Do only what you want to be a “universal law.” Treat people as ends and not as means. ▪ Situational ▪ Think about what’s going to happen, and that it’s sometimes okay to lie ▪ How you can gather as much information as you can, so you can make the best decision you can ▪ Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill Do the “most good” or the “least harm”— but don’t treat people as a means to an end ▪ Virtue ethics ▪ Become a person by doing good things ▪ Golden mean Aristotle Find the people who emulate what you want, and use them as your idol, or something of the sort. Avoid extremes; seek moderation ▪ How’s this going to look? ▪ Ultimately, ethics is about integrity. ▪ Do the right thing when nobody’s watching. ◦ The bottom line: you have to make a choice.


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