By RACHEL JANOSEC
I was searching across the Internet for recent news on journalism and journalists and came upon an article about the laws of journalism and found it very interesting. The article discussed seven laws that journalists must know and remember at all times, and although most journalists know this laws like the back of their hand, I think it is good to remind everyone. Every journalist, both young and old, new and pro, has to be reminded of these seven laws.
These laws range from database rights all the way to hate speech. These laws should especially be considered when journalists start publishing online rather then in print because areas like defamation, libel, contempt of court, privacy and privilege can be altered. Internet journalism opens up a whole new world of laws and licenses that one must be conscious of.
The Internet is a place where laws you never knew existed are applied to your work and the following are the most important all journalists should be aware of.
The first law to be mindful of is copyright and “public domain.” The right can be surrounding pictures and other content that is shared by other across the web.
The second law is creative commons and open data rights. Creative commons licensing allows you to find and use content quickly and with confidence. It is also an important factor in distributing the work.
The next law is database rights. This is basically very similar to copyright.
Discrimination and hate speech laws are also very important. Journalists are not just journalists but publishers and must be weary of what people publish on their site. And there are many acts all through out history that discuss hate speech laws in more detail like The Racial and Religions Hatred Act of 2006. A journalist should definitely brush up on these laws if need be.
The fifth law is the data protection law from the Data Protection Act of 1998. The act basically states that you use information only for the purposes for which it is gathered and only as long as it is needed.
The second to last law involves harassment and stalking. This law prevents journalists on reporting about particular individuals and the stalking law is used in a very similar way.
The last law, arguably the most important, is the Freedom of Information Act. Instead of talking about what journalists can’t do on their sites and over the Internet, this act discusses what you can do. It states you have access to information held by public bodies such as councils, police authorities, health bodies and national government departments.
These seven laws will help guide any journalist to a successful career, at least on the web.