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Legal Issues of the Mass Media_Lambe_Date__040510

Legal Issues of the Mass Media_Lambe_Date__040510 -...

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Newsgathering and the Law Two Parts: - Laws limiting newsgathering activities o What can you do to get information? What are the acceptable limits? - Laws providing access to government information Laws Limiting Newsgathering: Background o Judges are hesitant to give journalists access to places that the public isn’t privy too. They don’t want to give them extra access. o Arguments For and Against: Journalists want to be given access to be watchdogs. They are doing it the name of the public as our eyes and ears. Media shouldn’t have any access greater then that that of a normal citizen. Laws that would be applicable to a normal person also have to be applicable to journalists. Trespassing o If the owner of a private property doesn’t give consent they can’t go on that property. o If the area is usually open to the public, wherever the public is able to normally go, journalists are able to go. If they are asked to leave the area however they would have to, its trespassing if they refuse that order. o If consent is given at any time you can’t be sued, unless you were then asked to leave and you didn’t o If a government official enters a private property, such as a cop doing a warranted search, the media is NOT able to tag-along. o Government property is fair grounds if the public has access to it as well. Journalists may be asked to leave, but in dealing with government grounds they have the ability to ask the courts for access. Harassment o Journalists cannot have an aggressive style of reporting (calling numerous times, following subjects etc.), the courts can stop them. Fraud o A reporter cannot pretend to be someone else to get a story, their identity should be known Ex. Food Lion Case – a reporter got a job at the supermarket under a false
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