Archive | Defamation

UNC Media Law Doctoral Student Wins Top Paper Award for NCA 2017

We are pleased to announce that UNC  doctoral student Shao Chengyuan has won the top student paper award from the Communication and Law Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) this year. Chengyuan will present her paper at the NCA’s annual conference in Dallas, Texas in November. Congratulations, Shao!

Chengyuan studies media law in the UNC School of Media and Journalism. She joined the program in 2015 after earning a master’s in communication from Beijing Foreign Studies University and a bachelor’s in English from China Agricultural University in Beijing. She has now studies media law issues in China, specifically new media-related legislation and the legal boundaries of online free speech.

Chengyuan’s paper, which was blind-reviewed in the NCA’s paper competition,  is titled “Internet Defamation in China: Criminal Cases Since the 2013 Supreme People’s Court Judicial Interpretation.” Here is the abstract.

“This paper examines the recent development in Chinese defamation law, specifically the establishment of a 2013 judicial interpretation by the Supreme People’s Court that criminalized Internet defamation. This paper uses the language of Chinese law and analyzes eight Internet defamation cases decided after the 2013 judicial interpretation on Internet defamation. The criminal cases analyzed in this paper showed how Chinese public prosecutors have employed the new legal rules in cases deemed as threats to public order and state interests, as well as how Chinese individuals, acting as private prosecutors, have pursued criminal defamation prosecutions against online speakers. This paper takes into consideration the cultural and historical background of Chinese criminal defamation law and argues that, in addressing the lack of free speech protection under the current criminal defamation law, Chinese legislators need to consider raising the standard of fault for public officials and eventually abolishing the “state interest clause” of the criminal defamation statute.”

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Scholarship Winners 2016

unc_medialawThe UNC Center for Media Law and Policy has awarded $6,000 in scholarships to three law students working in unpaid or underpaid internships in the field of media law and policy this summer.

These are the scholarship winners and where they are working:

Varsha Mangal is a legal intern in the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C.

Chanda Marlowe is spending half of her summer working for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in San Francisco and the other half working for the Future of Privacy Forum in Washington, D.C.

Rachel M. Rice is working in the business affairs office of Broadway Video, a global entertainment and media company.  She is located in Los Angeles.

Congratulations to our wonderful students!

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Center Co-Director Authors New Media Law Casebook

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David Ardia, co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, is a co-author of a new edition of Media and the Law, a casebook published by LexisNexis. Congratulations, David!

The book is authored by David Kohler, Lee Levine, Ardia, Dale Cohen and Mary-Rose Papandrea.  Ardia, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Law, is a new author on the book beginning with this edition.

This marketing flyer talks about what is new in the second edition and includes a table of contents.  If you are so inclined, you can order the book here.

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New Media Law PhDs

UNCThe UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication will welcome three new media law students to its Ph.D. program this fall.  All of them have expressed interest in working in the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy.  Welcome, law dawgs!

These are the students and a brief description of each student’s background and research interests:

Nicholas Gross.  Coming to Carolina from San Jose, Calif., Nicholas earned a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from the University of California, Davis. Currently Nicholas is a legal research attorney for The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. He also has been a staff attorney with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, GaHis research interests include freedom of expression, internet policy and governance, advertising, intellectual property law, privacy and security law, and telecommunications regulation.

Taeho Lee.  A native of Korea, Taeho earned a J.D. from Emory University and a bachelors in communication from Seoul National University in Korea. He has practiced law in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn., and he has advised Fox Television Stations Inc. in Atlanta on diverse legal matters, including state shield laws. He also has assisted lawyers in drafting copyright license agreements between cable networks in Atlanta. He is interested in studying the relationship between protection of privacy, freedom of expression, and potential harm from offensive speech (e.g., violent, indecent, and racially discriminative speech).

Kristen Patrow is coming to Carolina from Minneapolis, Minn. She earned a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s in journalism from Bethel University. She has been a teaching assistant for several journalism courses at the University of Minnesota and guest lectured in classes. Her professional experience includes being an events coordinator and social media associate for Christians for Biblical Equity. She organized conferences and wrote articles for newsletters and magazines. She is planning to study media law, especially the First Amendment and how low-value speech, such as pornography, contributes value to a community.

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Symposium will contemplate 50 years of press freedom

Almost 50 years ago, Justice William J. Brennan Jr., writing for the Supreme Court, expressed “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

Tomorrow, the UNC First Amendment Law Review will bring together media law experts to reflect on and debate just how free the press has been to cover and criticize public officials since the landmark ruling in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which established the “actual malice” test. Under the test, a public official suing for libel must prove that defamatory content was published with “knowledge of falsity” or “reckless disregard for the truth.”

As a result of “New York Times Actual Malice,” the press and the public are free to criticize government officials’ and public figures’ job performance, scrutinize their personal lives, and even attack their character.

Some think the Court went too far when it held that falsity was not enough to make a speaker liable for defaming a public official. Others say it hasn’t gone far enough and should protect the publication of any false content when reporting on matters of public controversy.

The First Amendment Law Review Symposium will consist of two panels of First Amendment and media law scholars including:

  • Vincent Blasi, Corliss Lamont Professor of Civil Liberties at Columbia Law School
  • Bruce Brown, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • Ronald Cass, Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Law
  • Stuart Benjamin, Douglas B. Maggs Chair in Law at Duke Law
  • George Wright, Michael McCormick Professor of Law at Indiana University
  • Ashley Messenger, Associate General Counsel for National Public Radio

The event will begin with a keynote address from Ken Paulson, President and CEO of the First Amendment Law Center, followed by a 30 minute Q&A.  The morning panel will then examine the impact of the Sullivan decision on the media, while the afternoon panel will discuss its broader implications on First Amendment jurisprudence.

Visit the event page for more information.

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