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Law and Journalism

Law and Journalism

Write 300 words about the law and journalism using the information attached to the order.


Law and Journalism

Law structures the manner in which people interact within a set of social norms. This
way, law is a defining aspect for communities and it determines who belongs. Law is a very
important societal aspect because it reflects the aspirational norms and rules of the community it
regulates. It only maintains legitimate authority if it can play its role effectively. Journalism faces
similar problems because its professional projects becomes increasingly blurred and aligned with
business. Law has an upper authority on journalism because it regulates the amount of
information that should be conveyed on media and dictates the scope of a journalist’s work
(Breit, 2014).
According to the General Principles of the Press Council, news and comments should be
presented in a manner that is fair and respects the privacy and sensibilities of people, although
this does not mean that some matters which are on the public record or significantly in the public
interest should be omitted. Privacy Principles require journalists to ensure when gathering news,
they do not cause undue intrusions on the privacy of people and that public members caught up
in newsworthy events should not be exploited (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2014).
The media faces numerous challenges, with the conventional business models thrown
into turmoil by new media platforms. Although from the outsider perspective, there has been a
minimal number of cases of journalists being persecuted for contempt of court, from the insider
perspective there are many issues that deserve professional security and reflection. There are
career consequences that arise from journalists being persecuted for contempt of court and
having a criminal record. Breit (2011) notes that media publications have received massive

criticism for the traumatizing of victims of crime, inserting pressure on proceedings, affecting
the impartiality of jurors and undermining the confidence of the public in the judicial system.



Breit, R. (2011). Professional Communication: Legal and Ethical Issues, 2 nd ed. Lexis Nexis,
Butterworths: Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald (August 13, 2014). Press Council Adjudication.

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