LL424E      Half Unit
Media Law: Regulating Newsgathering

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Andrew Scott NAB6.25


This course is available on the Executive LLM. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course will be offered on the Executive LLM during the four year degree period. The Department of Law will not offer all Executive LLM courses every year, although some of the more popular courses may be offered in each year, or more than once each year. Please note that whilst it is the Department of Law's intention to offer all Executive LLM courses, its ability to do so will depend on the availability of the staff member in question. For more information please refer to the Department of Law website.

Course content

This course examines the legal and administrative regulation of newsgathering and content production practices undertaken by journalists and others working in the media sector. The course is introduced with consideration of a number of themes that underpin the rest of the syllabus: the role(s) of the media in society (including conceptions of the ‘public interest’); the main social, technological and regulatory influences that shape media newsgathering practise, and rights jurisprudence (in particular, the freedom of expression and freedom of the press in national and international law). The course then examines a number of newsgathering practices that are either facilitated or proscribed by law and/or other forms of regulation. These include protection of sources (in general; vis-a vis police and security interests; payment of sources); access to information held by the state (official secrets; news management; freedom of information); access to the justice system (secret justice / physical access to courts; access to court documents; technology and the courts - text-based reporting and broadcasting; access to prisoners); media-police interaction; harassment and media intrusion, and surreptitious newsgathering practices (hacking, tapping and subterfuge).


24-26 hours of contact time.

Formative coursework

Students will have the option of producing a formative exam question of 2000 words to be delivered one month from the end of the module’s teaching session by email.

Indicative reading

Warby, Moreham and Christie (eds) Tugendhat and Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media, (3rd edn, OUP, 2016), Millar and Scott, Newsgathering: Law, Regulation and the Public Interest (OUP, 2016); Robertson and Nicol, Media Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 5th ed 2007), Warby, Moreham and Christie (eds), Tugendhat and Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media, (2nd ed, OUP, 2011), Nicol, Millar and Sharland, Media Law and Human Rights (OUP, 2009), Davies, Flat Earth News (Chatto & Windus, 2008).art Publishing, 2002).


Assessment path 1
Essay (100%, 8000 words).

Assessment path 2
Take home exam (100%).

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills