Tag Archives | Student Jobs

Students Receive Support Grants for Summer Internships

The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy has awarded $1,000 summer grants to two students in the center’s dual-degree program.

The grants went to Natasha Duarte and Kevin Delaney to support their summer internships. Kevin will be at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Arlington, Va.  Natasha will be at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C., working in the Internet Public Interest Opportunities Program.

The media law center grant program, which is in its second year, supports journalism and law students doing unpaid and low-paying summer internships in the field of media law and policy.  In conjunction with a similar program at the law school, the center ensures that each student has at least $5,000 in summer pay.

Students in the dual-degree program earn both a J.D. and a master’s in journalism.

Congratulations to Natasha and Kevin!

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, a Project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Berkman Center LogoLet me start by saying that I really like information. Numbers, lists, facts, data, trivia. I like them all. I’m an information junkie. I also happen to love the First Amendment. Given this, it’s not surprising that I was so excited to spend this past summer interning with the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Chilling Effects collects threats to free expression online, mostly in the form of DMCA take-down notices and similar intellectual property infringement claims, although Chilling Effects receives notices of other threats to free speech as well. All of that information is compiled into a searchable database. Being able to work with Chilling Effects, to explore this database, and to see “under the hood” was a great way to combine my interest in data with my passion for the First Amendment.

The summer was jumpstarted with a joint project involving myself and the two other Chilling Effects interns. Our task was to track down questionable trademark infringement claims in the database. We sorted through hundreds of these claims, looking to see if the people who filed them had concerns beyond trademark infringement — for example, someone whose real issue might be closer to a defamation claim than a trademark claim, but the latter might more quickly and effectively take down the content in question, since defamation claims can be costly to pursue and difficult to win. In other words, we scoured the database looking at potentially fraudulent trademark infringement claims that were being used to stifle free expression online. Once we wrapped up our search we worked with Jeff Hermes at the Digital Media Law Project to turn our findings into content for a presentation he was giving. One of the best parts of summer at the Berkman Center was a project like this one because I got to work with the other interns, all of whom were passionate, curious, and eager to spend the summer researching and working on a variety of Berkman projects.

On top of working with these great people, interns attended weekly presentations by leaders in the technology and policy fields. One week we got to hear from NYU privacy scholar Helen Nissenbaum, who spoke about transparency and privacy issues in accessing online court records. Earlier in the summer many of us attended a book launch for ReWire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection by Ethan Zuckerman of the MIT Center for Civic Media. But perhaps the most fun “intern hour” was an interactive demonstration of Google Glass. We might have looked ridiculous, but we loved being among the first to check out this new wearable computing technology.

The summer flew by. When news broke about the NSA’s PRISM program, I started reading everything I could about the issue and turned my research into a blog post featuring a timeline of Edward Snowden’s leaks and related news about the program. The best part about the blogging for Chilling Effects was that I got to use the Chilling Effects database to add color, facts, and figures to the stories that were already out there. For example, when Twitter released it’s annual Transparency Report in July, I combined their reported data with information stored in the Chilling Effects database. By layering the Chilling Effects’ data on top of Twitter’s, it was easy to start to see the bigger picture for how Twitter handles attempts by countries to censor tweets or account holders.

My summer internship at the Berkman Center gave me the opportunity to work with an area of the law that I am passionate about and introduced me to dozens of new friends and peers who are equally excited about the future of technology, law, and policy. It was by far the most exciting and memorable summer I’ve had and it was an honor to work with some of the world’s leading tech and policy thinkers. Summer 2014 Berkman Center internship applications just opened up and are being accepted until February 16.  If you’re interested applying you can find more information on the Center’s Internship page here.

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the Berkman Center’s Digital Media Law Project

IMG_4639This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern for the Digital Media Law Project (DMLP) at the Berkman Center in Cambridge, MA. Our office facility — fondly referred to as the “big yellow house” — was home to a large number of Berkman Center projects, of which the DMLP was one.

The Berkman Center is a wonderful place to work, as the house is constantly filled to the brim with scholars in a variety of fields. It seemed that wherever you went, from the front porch to the kitchen, you were welcomed in eavesdropping on a conversation about an interesting new research project or developing body of law. Berkman also houses a number of fascinating software development projects.

My day-to-day life as a DMLP intern was filled with media law — a complex world of legal issues like defamation, copyright, trademark, anti-SLAPP motions, Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, DMCA takedown notices, shield laws for reporters, first amendment issues, and more.

I worked on a number of projects for the DMLP throughout the summer. In my legal threat research, my supervisors, Jeff Hermes and Andy Sellars, encouraged me to delve into complex litigation procedures while analyzing court documents for recent media law cases. Through this research, I gained an understanding of how pervasive media law issues are in our court system and in our lives.

On another project, I researched and wrote detailed legal guides on issues such as how to form a journalism cooperative in Pennsylvania and how to operate under Tennessee’s recording laws. The legal guide work is essential for reporters and citizen journalists who need to understand in non-legalese the legal implications of publishing within their state.

IMG_4737Finally, every two weeks, I was encouraged to develop a blog post on my topic of choice. The DMLP blogs provided me the freedom to delve into specific areas of media law including a patent on podcasts, the federal shield law, and how journalist organizations are using Instagram.

My research at the DMLP wasn’t all that Berkman had to offer. One week, my supervisors, my fellow DMLP interns, and I were invited to attend a Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education course at which our supervisor, Jeff Hermes, was presenting. This experience was certainly one of the highlights of my summer as I was able to hear first-hand about the most recent issues and case law in this field.

Each week, my fellow “Berkterns” and I were invited to attend lunchtime and afternoon seminars on a variety of topics, legal and otherwise, given by scholars at the top of their fields. These presentations were followed by intellectually stimulating discussions which often challenged me to consider new ideas and viewpoints. (Another summer highlight: at one such lunchtime presentation, representatives from Google Glass came by and let us try on Glass(es)! The demo led to a great discussion about the legal, social, and privacy implications of the new technology.)

IMG_6199I would highly recommend an internship at the Digital Media Law Project to anyone interested in studying recent media law cases and understanding the protections needed to prevent chilling effects. I made great friends, had a wonderful time traveling around Boston and Cambridge, and embraced everything the area had to offer. Through the DMLP’s collaborative work environment, I was able to learn so much about media law and witness first-hand how this relatively new area of law is influencing a wide range of people across the country.

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Looking for a Job in Media Law?

jobsLooking for a job can be time consuming and frustrating.  Often the best opportunities are found through networking and word of mouth.  But what if you are a student or recent grad? Or are trying to change fields or areas of practice and you don’t have a network?  Breaking into a new field, or even trying to find new opportunities in a field you already occupy, can be challenging.  This is why the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy has created its new media law and policy Job Center.

We Bring Our Network to You

Over the years, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy has a built up a large (and growing) network of media law and policy minded folks and they are often looking for people just like you.  From an undergraduate internship at the Brookings Institution to a director position at Harvard’s Digital Initiative our network of contacts are constantly making us aware of openings and opportunities in the field of media law and policy.  Our Job Center database brings that network to you.  For free.  Just like that.

Easy to use

Not only does our database instantly plug you into our network of contacts and opportunities it is easy to use. You can browse by job type or category or use our advanced search feature to search by location, keyword, or practice area. Looking for a fellowship? Bam. Got it: Fellowships. How about an internship? Yep, that too: Internships.  An academic teaching position? Also covered: Academic – Journalism and Academic – Law.

Wide Variety

Don’t be deceived by the few examples of categories I just offered in the previous paragraph.  There are job opportunities from almost every field even remotely under the media law and policy umbrella.  IP, Copyright, Photo Journalism, Broadcast, FTC listings, Cyber Law, Trademark—you name it there are job opportunities.  Whatever you are looking for, chances are there is something for you on our page.  Here is a list of some of my favorite recent postings:

William Smith is a 2L at the University of North Carolina School of Law

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at NPR

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I have always admired NPR’s style of broadcast journalism. Through their use of compelling voice-overs, descriptive writing styles, and natural sound, the organization’s reporters have a way of bringing life to stories that lack pictures. Naturally, as one of UNC’s law and journalism dual-degree students, I jumped at the opportunity to spend my summer working in NPR’s Office of the General Counsel.

At NPR, I received exposure to all aspects of media law. On a typical day, I could do anything from answering fair use questions to investigating international broadcasting issues to assisting with FOIA requests. By working at NPR, my knowledge of First Amendment, intellectual property, and administrative law increased immeasurably.

The staff at the OGC also encouraged me to attend legal events outside NPR. I heard Gary Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of the Associated Press, speak at the National Press Club about the Department of Justice’s decision to subpoena, without notice, phone records from the AP’s reporters. I also interacted with prominent members of the media law community at events held at The Washington Post and other venues around D.C. My days were rarely, if ever, filled with a dull moment.

I had the added benefit of working in NPR’s brand-new building located at 1111 North Capitol Street, NE. From my office desk, I had this amazing view of the Capitol Building.

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Being located at NPR’s new headquarters also enabled me to interact with members of the newsroom and watch broadcasts of Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation.

Through these activities, I left the classroom setting and observed how media law issues impact real journalists.

I would recommend NPR’s internship program to anyone interested in media law. The organization has many intelligent and talented people who are eager to help interns learn. I am honored to have been an intern in the OGC and am proud to have represented Carolina at NPR!

Kevin Delaney is a 2L at the University of North Carolina School of Law and a second-year master’s student at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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