School of Law

QLLM411 Media Regulation and Media Law (Sem 2)

Module description

The Media Regulation and Media Law course considers a range of law and regulation which applies directly to the media, in a sector-specific manner. Wec begin by considering why, when and how the state will step in to regulate the ownership of the media (including, but not limited to, news and broadcast media) via the Ofcom licensing model and competition law. The course will then spend a number of weeks considering the regulatory approach taken in the context of serveral different media sectors and activities, looking at the pre-and post-Leveson regulation of the print press, both extra-legal and legal models, in the context of the evolving model of the press where much of it is now distributed online as well as or instead of in print. Next, we will consider the regulation of the broadcast media, both in terms of infrastructure (the licensing regime), and the regulation of content (Ofcom broadcasting rules, complaints procedure, and so on). Thirdly in this part of the course we will explore the issues raised by the advent of on-demand, online video content services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and look at how the law has responded to the need to provide some form of regulation of "television-like" content being distributed via this medium. Core to the economic model on which much contemporary media, whether print, broadcast, online or other, is based is advertising, and the module will give consideration to the legal and extra legal codes and procedures by which standards are set and maintained in the advertising industry. The final element of this course considers the regulation of journalism and newsgathering across all media sectors, in relation to reporting court proceedings. This part of the course will make particular reference to topics including Contempt of Court, Restrictions (statutory and judicial), and the right of journalists to refuse to divulge the identity of confidential sources of information. The question of how the commercial media's freedom of expression may assist in achieving the aim of open justice while also ensuring that other, important values such as the right to a fair trial or even the integrity of the court itself are appropriately upheld. The module will predominqantly explore these themes in the context of English / UK / EU law, with reference to alternative jurisdictions and models as and where appropriate.

Applicable Groupings

  • LLM in Commercial and Corporate Law
  • LLM in Computer and Communications Law
  • LLM in Human Rights Law
  • LLM in Media Law
  • Laws (General)
  • LLM Flexible Study.

Mode of Assessment

2.15 hour written examination


22.5 credits