Archive | Journalism

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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Welcome Our New Research Fellow, Rachael Jones

The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is proud to announce that it has hired its first research fellow, Rachael Jones.  Rachael, who started this week, will oversee the Center’s research initiatives, with a particular focus on government transparency.

Prior to joining the Center, Rachael served as the Jack Nelson/Dow Jones Legal Fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (“RCFP”). At RCFP, Rachael assisted journalists daily, and primarily focused on state and federal public records act matters. She has presented her research on free speech issues at the Yale Information and Society Project’s Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference for the past two years and served as a panelist for freedom of information topics for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Law and Policy Division. Rachael earned her J.D. with honors from the University of Florida in 2016, where she was a research editor for the Florida Journal of International Law. While at UF Law, Rachael served as a research assistant to Dean Lyrissa Lidsky and as an extern-clerk to the Honorable Stephanie Ray of the First District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida. In addition, Rachael has studied comparative constitutional law and dispute resolution at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Rachael received her Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from the University of Florida in 2011 and hails from the Destin, Florida, area.

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