Archive | Journalism

Police Body-Worn Cameras: Time to Roll Up Our Sleeves and Study the Issues

We are excited for the North Carolina Law Review’s symposium this Friday on “Badge Cams as Data and Deterrent: Law Enforcement, the Public and the Press in the Age of Digital Video.” The symposium will consider the legal and practical issues surrounding the use of police body-worn cameras (BWCs). Many of the nation’s leading experts on this topic will be in attendance, including:

  • Mary Fan, University of Washington
  • David Harris, Pittsburgh Law School
  • Woody Hartzog, Northeastern University
  • Margaret Hu, Washington and Lee University
  • Margot Kaminski, University of Colorado
  • Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • Bryce Newell, University of Kentucky
  • Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst at the ACLU
  • Seth Stoughton, University of South Carolina
  • Peter Swire, Georgia Tech
  • Howard Wassermann, Florida International University
  • Michael White, Arizona State University

The symposium will consist of three panels: Professor Richard Myers will moderate a panel on collection and use of BWC video; Center co-director David Ardia will moderate a panel on privacy and public access; and Center affiliate faculty Mary-Rose Papandrea will moderate a panel on accountability. It will take place on November 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center. For more information about the symposium, including information on how to register, please visit our event page.

As a supplement to the symposium, the Center is also organizing a private workshop on November 4 at the UNC School of Law to address the practical issues associated with the implementation of police body-worn camera systems. The workshop will be made up of experts on law enforcement, privacy, public access, and news gathering, with the goals of ascertaining areas of agreement, identifying issues that would benefit from additional academic research, and developing best practices for police departments and the media.

We will have more to say about the workshop next week!

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Center Co-Director’s First Amendment Day Remarks Published in the News and Observer

One of the highlights of First Amendment Day this year was the morning keynote address by Center for Media Law and Policy Co-Director Cathy Packer. Dr. Packer set the tone for the day, reminding us all of the importance of free expression and how vital it is that we continue to protect it. Today, The News & Observer published her remarks as an op-ed. You may find the article at http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article175888201.html.

“Carolina still is a wonderful and exciting place where young people see, hear, read and say things they’ve never before encountered or even imagined. This helps them to create their own views and values.

Of course, because we have a more diverse student body and faculty than ever before, we have more diversity of opinion on campus – and more disagreements. In that way, we’re no different than the rest of the country.

But in other ways we are different from the rest of the nation – or at least we should be. We should celebrate our diversity and learn from it. That’s what we’re here for – to learn. And the free exchange of ideas still is the best way to learn.”

-Dr. Cathy Packer, UNC First Amendment Day 2017

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Now Hiring: Join Us at the UNC Center for Media Law & Policy

Those who follow First Amendment law know that we are in a critical moment in its history. We need more people on the front lines researching media law and its impact.

We are pleased to announce that the School of Media and Journalism at UNC is searching for an outstanding assistant or associate professor to conduct research and teach in its internationally renowned media law and policy program. Our new colleague would also play a vital role in the life of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy.

To learn more about this position and to apply go here: Assistant/Associate Professor in Media Law

UNC-Chapel Hill is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The University reaffirms its commitment to equality of opportunity and pledges that it will not practice or permit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, genetic information, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

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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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UNC Media Law Student Part of Winning Research Group

UNC media law student Mariam Turner is among a group of faculty and graduate students who have won a $10,000 research award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications’ Mass Communication and Society Division. The award, which was announced over the summer, was given to Dr. Daniel Riffe and Dr. Adam Saffer from the UNC School of Media and Journalism.  However, students were the forces behind the grant application.

The study will look at the interlocking of U.S. media company boards of directors, and how much this influences media content. The idea arose in Dr. Riffe’s Theories of Media Processes & Procedures course last spring. Mariam, who was a student in that class, plans to help with data collection, the literature review, and creation of the survey.

Mariam is in the third year of UNC’s four-year dual-degree program. In this program, which is administered by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, she’ll earn both a J.D. and a master’s degree in mass communication.

Go, Mariam!

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