By MARK PEARSON Follow @Journlaw
There is no easy solution to helping journalists and other professional communicators identify a risky media law situation.
The first challenge is to be able to sound the alarm bells in the midst of researching or writing. Given a journalist or public relations consultant might be working on numerous stories, investigations, production or communication tasks in any day, what might prompt them to pause and assess the media law risks associated with a particular publication or action?
The answer has puzzled me for my 30 years of teaching media law, and it appears to lie in a combination of situational / emotional analysis and media law knowledge, supported by a routine system of mindful reflection.
I have recently revisited the issue with groups of working journalists, asking them to identify situations they believed prompted them to be on high alert for media law problems. I have combined their observations with my own into this table of situations and risks.
This table is a work in progress, so I would really appreciate your comments and suggestions for further categories as I work to fine-tune it for inclusion in our next edition of The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law.
Disclaimer: While I write about media law and ethics, nothing here should be construed as legal advice. I am an academic, not a lawyer. My only advice is that you consult a lawyer before taking any legal risks.
© Mark Pearson 2017