IS41190 Media Law & Policy

Academic Year 2023/2024

This course is aimed at those interested in digital media law from many perspectives. It relies on an innovative range of readings, such as newspaper articles and court reports, podcasts, blogs, films, Law Reform Commission reports, as well as journals and textbooks. You will not only learn how media law has developed but why such developments have taken place. You will also learn to question how legislative and regulatory developments shape the media created and consumed by the public.

We all communicate daily through multiple engagements with different forms of media, from catching up with news on our smartphones, posting a photo on Instagram, or streaming a film via Netflix. The law in various guises intersects, governs, shapes and restricts your daily engagement with media. The practical application of the law in these different industries requires balancing the rights and interests that will be explored through the delivery of this course, from protecting the rights to privacy and a good name to recognising the importance of ensuring freedom of expression in a democratic society.

The law in this area evolves alongside the developments in technology. This course provides insights into relevant legal principles as they pertain to both traditional and new media. Laws can be technologically neutral and future proofed, so a knowledge of traditional media law is essential to have a holistic understanding of law and policy as it pertains to digital or new media. Thinking about how existing laws and policies might (or might not) apply to new forms of technology and media allows us to unravel the role of both law and media in society.

Fundamental legal concepts will be explained in Week 1 and 2 and throughout the course as we meet them. This course goes beyond what is known as “black letter” law and merges critical theory with the law.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. identify the issues affecting the creation, consumption and distribution of media in today’s globalised world.
2. critically examine the role of content creators and in society and how the legal system serves to affect the creation of content.
3. identify the main ways in which the creation of mediated products is affected by legislative and regulatory issues, in both an Irish, EU and worldwide context.
4. critically analyse the regulation of all forms of media including Public Service Media (PSM), traditional print journalism, broadcast media, cultural media and new forms of content creation and consumption in society.
5. show knowledge and understanding of main legal issues that affect media industries across various platforms to include broadcasting, print and online systems.

Indicative Module Content:

Specific module topics will be presented in order to critically theorise media law and policy. Topics may include introduction to legal systems and methods, critical approaches to law, GDPR, defamation law, censorship, media industries and media content regulation within Ireland and the EU.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Approaches to Teaching and Learning
● Lecture
● In-class discussion
● Critical reading and writing
● Desk research
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: A 5,000 word essay will be due at end of term. Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33 Fri 11:00 - 12:50