Friday, 18 May 2012

Updated: The new McNae, a Leveson database and a few other media law resources for journalists and students

The Old Bailey. Pic: Anaru
I've just come back from an NCTJ workshop for media law lecturers and examiners. Inevitably there was much talk about recent events in media law so I thought I'd have a look at new-ish media law resources for journalists and students.

Law books
The workshop was led by lecturer Mark Hanna, who is co-editor of the latest edition of McNae's Essential Law for Journalists.  While McNae has traditionally been the bible for journalists and for students taking NCTJ exams, it's fair to say that in recent years it has lost ground to Law for Journalists by Frances Quinn, mainly because the Quinn book was easier to read and easier to navigate

The good news is that the latest McNae has slimmed down a little, has re-designed to help the reader navigate its pages tools and has also added some extra web-only chapters on niche areas of media law. It's well worth a look.

One area of discussion at the workshop centred around the fact that fewer journalists are doing court reporting these days. Sounds like a niche for entrepreneurial journalists to fill.

Libel reform
Anyone interested in keeping up with libel reform now that a Bill has finally been introduced should take a look at David Allen Green's Jack of Kent blog which has aggregated a series of useful bits of info relating to the Defamation Bill 2012.

Freedom of Information
There's a couple of good blogs to put in your feed reader if you want to keep up woth FoI. First, there's David Higgerson, who regularly rounds up FoI stories including this one on the council that wanted to keep the location of jubilee street parties secret. And there's FoIMan, for anyone who's really into Freedom of Information.

And just a reminder that is a great resource for tracking FoI requests - and getting help with making one.

Leveson Inquiry
UPDATE: Hat-tip to @richpeppiatt and props to Full Fact for this searchable Leveson database.

General developments
As always, keep an eye on Judith Townend's Meejalaw blog for news and comment on developments in law for journalists.

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