Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chris Edmundson- Case Study Summary: A look into New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and the establishment "actual malice" in libel cases.

This week I will be presenting a case study on the establishment of the need to prove actual malice in libel cases involving a public figure. In 1960, the New York Times published an ad called “Heed Their Rising Voices” in which actions of Montgomery Alabama were, in some cases inaccurately, depicted against Civil Rights protesters. L.B. Sullivan then proceeded to sue the New York Times for libel stating that by virtue of his position of superiority over the police he was identified and falsely represented in the article, though he was never specifically named. Sullivan won $500,000 in an Alabama court only to have the decision overturned by the Supreme Court with a vote of 9-0 in favor of the New York Times.

This court case demonstrated that a need for proof of actual malice in cases of libel against a public figure were necessary. At a time in which news organizations and other media outlets feared reporting on the Civil Rights movement for fear of being sued for libel, this case allowed a greater range of truth to be told. Before this decision was rendered, there was $300 million in outstanding libel actions in the southern states alone. The decision of this case has evolved into the modern requirements to prove one has fallen victim to libel, whether simple negligence proven by a private person or actual malice proven by a public figure.

I will be presenting, not only the context and content of Sullivan v. New York Times Co. (Sullivan’s original case) as well as New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, but I will also delve into the social impact of the actual malice ruling and its releasing of reporters from a passive to a more active position in reporting on the civil rights movement, I will also clarify the definitions of Libel, actual malice, simple negligence, and the five requirements to win a libel case as well as the three successful defenses against such an accusation

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cari Elliott-Summary of Case Study: What are the constraints on free speech & the First Amendment for the news industry?

On Wednesday’s class, (February 23rd) I will be presenting a case study over the Supreme Court Case, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. This was a landmark case in 1988 which ultimately resulted in giving school districts the power to censor their school newspapers. I will begin with a background of the First Amendment as well as touch on the evolution of the First Amendment (specifically in regards to free speech and free press in the newspaper industry). I will then introduce the case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, explain the background of the case, the decision of the Supreme Court, and talk about some issues raised since the Supreme Court’s ruling. I will also try to answer some questions that have become major issues since the ruling of this case. These questions involve Public Forum and constraints on other newspaper industries besides school newspapers. Finally, I will finish my presentation with a summary of my findings as well as the main conclusion I have come to regarding “Free Speech and the First Amendment in the news industry.”

As you can probably infer through my summary, my main argument of this presentation is to prove (through my research of this case) that protection from the First Amendment in the news industry is not equal for all different types of newspapers. Through our discussion questions, we will converse about whether this non-universal protection of the First Amendment is fair or unfair. (Most of our opinions probably being that it is unfair, which I agree with.). Lastly, I hope to have by the end of this presentation, successfully answered the weekly question of “What are the constraints on free speech and the First Amendment for the news industry?” I feel as if there is no way to answer that question without understanding the Supreme Court case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier since this case now sets the standard for newspaper censoring in most states. Those reasons and many more whcih you will hear about on Wednesday, are why I have chosen to present a case study specifically over this Supreme Court case.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Global Media: Stephanie Bishop

Today I am going to talk about the television show Pop Idol. I will be talking on the topic of global media and will be answering the following question, “How does globalization shape media products and industry?” I will be giving specific examples from the series Pop Idol to demonstrate key aspects of globalization.

Globalization can be defined as a reduction of difference that existed between nations in time, space and culture. It makes the world seem more connected and possessing an integrated market based in capitalist/market place economics. An important aspect is the idea of glocal. Glocal is where local productions are produced with global forms and ideas. Pop Idol is a great example of glocal and globalization as it has shaped media products and industry.

Pop Idol first aired in England in 2001 and then was exported to the United States in 2003. This was a new beginning for Idol as its production expanded to 35 different countries and has been viewed in hundreds of countries around the world. Although there are 35 different versions of Pop Idol, it still has four fundamental components that remain constant in every country. The variations are changed to accommodate to the cultural proximity of the audience. These variations and cultural values are chosen and adapted in local markets as to create interest and revenue for the show.

Idol is a big business which has a format that has elements of universal appeal to any citizen of the world. This format is exploited in order to generate maximum revenue. Idol has become a business changer for all of network television as it has been a leader for other television series and networks. This exerts pressure on nations to make media more commercial through its support by advertising which is aimed at its target audience, the consumer. Not only is the global idea of Idol taken locally to hundreds of countries in the world, it is extremely popular due to its global franchising and format interactivity.

Global Media: Mason Surber

How does globalization shape media products and industry? In the last fifty years media influence has grown exponentially as technology has advanced. In our society today, people all over the world depend on information and communication to keep them moving in the right direction. As technology continues to advance globalization and its influence on all forms of products will continue to evolve. When I first began researching for this case study I was somewhat skeptical of the effect that globalization would really have on the media industry. Globalization has not only provided new mediums for media exchange, but also allows people to share ideas and experiences with others no matter their geographic location.

The first part of my presentation today will include insight into the company ESPN. I will provide ESPN’s company background information and the role that globalization has played in the formation of their successful business. I will also provide the audience with some statistical information regarding their revenue and affiliation to one of the top media firms and the current ownership of ESPN.

The second part of my presentation will break down the driving forces of globalization and the benefits it can provide. In this portion of the presentation I will also discuss ESPN’s current business ventures, affiliates, and ground-breaking feats in the form of media products. We will also look at the consumption of media on a global scale, and what forms of media are prevalent throughout the world. After comparing the mediums in which people partake, I will present ESPN’s revenue generation from previous years.

My questions for thought will be asking the class about ESPN’s effectiveness in reaching the global population. They will also be asked if there are any actions that the company could take to give them advantages over similar media companies. These questions will not only stem from the information presented, but from personal beliefs and ideas as well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Media Law and Policy: Lauren Mackey

Who influences the media? When I started this case study I thought that my end result would be that our government controls the media. However, I did end up changing my view on this after some research. I believe that the FCC does have some control over what we see in the media, however their role is not as strong and clear cut as I would of thought. They are given some guidelines to bring order to the media in regards to obscenity and violence, but the guidelines are so vague that it often inhibits them as well. They don't have clear cut requirements and they base every decision off what is the society 'norm' so the guidelines are changing along with our society. They base their investigations largely on complaints they receive from the public, this plus the fact that the public establish society's norms lead me to lean more to the side of the public has a bigger role then the FCC on what we see on TV.
The first part of my presentation I will quickly discuss some media law and policy terms that pertain to my focus on the FCC and television media in regards to obscenity. It is important to know the difference between how obscenity is defined.
Next I will explain a little more background information on the FCC and what exactly their function is. As well as capture theory which is the fear the FCC protects the industry instead of the people watching TV. This is a major concern with the FCC and a problem they have been said to struggle with. Linking the FCC is what I will do next explaining the criteria for deciding if something is considered obscene or not and the distinction between obscene and indecency, which is protected by the 1st Amendment, obscenity is not though.
I will then go into my two examples of questionable TV shows out right now. The classic example being South Park and their long list of complaints by viewers to the FCC. Then I will talk about the new MTV show Skins, which is getting a lot of heat from concerned parents.
Rounding up the presentation I will show that their are two sides to every argument with the teens versus parents in relation to the show Skins and show the audience how they can have their voice heard by the FCC.
My questions for thought will be asking the class how they think the FCC is doing based on what they see on TV, and if they would ever consider filing a complaint themselves.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Who Controls the Media?

Today in class I will attempt to answer the question “Who controls/monitors the media?” I intend to show how the FCC essentially silences free speech over broadcast and question whether or not they are in direct violation of basic 1st Amendment rights. I will cover relevant cases and analyze the results and implications of each, including FCC v. Pacifica Foundation and FCC v. Fox Television Stations. I will show how the FCC has completely reversed its existing policies and then punished companies which had broadcast instances before the changed policy. I will also explain how even a lack of guidelines can limit what networks put on the air out of fear of being fined, simply because they don’t know what will or will not be seen as indecent.

The first part of my presentation will cover the basic history of the FCC, including their purpose and structure. This part also explains how the FCC’s status as an independent agency gives it a unique ability to set, and enforce, its policies. Afterwards I’ll briefly mention the 1st amendment and cover the law from which the FCC draws its power, 18 U.S.C. §1464. I’ll then move on to the court cases relevant to the issue. FCC v. Pacifica Foundation deals with obscene words spoken over radio and sets the precedent for future indecent broadcasts. FCC v. Fox Television Stations shows how this had instantly been reversed to cover words on a much broader scale. My closing will explain the effects caused by the FCC not having clear guidelines to explain what is, or is not, indecent speech. I will also present information to listeners which suggest that the current regulations are quickly becoming outdated and ineffective in today’s new media society. Lastly, I will present questions to the class about whether or not the FCC is violating 1st Amendment rights, if the FCC is effective, and if there should be regulation at all.