I’m working on a law discussion question and need guidance to help me learn.
Over the last weeks, you explored the two conflicting legal philosophies at the heart of media law and learned why the Constitution and its First Amendment have endured. For this discussion, you are to reflect on what you gained from this class by writing a short, multi-paragraph essay for which you develop a thesis that addresses and ties together answers to these questions:
- What is your key takeaway about U.S. media ethics and law from this class?
- How has your understanding of your First Amendment rights and responsibilities been affected by what you have learned here?
- How will you apply what you have learned in your professional or personal life?
- What success strategies advice do you have to offer future students of this class?
Your objective with this graded discussion is to synthesize and apply your understanding of how U.S. media laws affect or can affect you personally and professionally.
Part II: Provide feedback to two classmates.
1. I have learned a lot about media ethics and the laws pertaining to media throughout this course. Before taking this course, I didn’t understand Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which protects online platforms and users from being held liable for defamatory content reposted by third parties (Murcia, 2020). This act is crucial to our freedom online; however, it plays a tricky role by granting media platforms essentially more power over the content posted on media sites than the government has. There has also been a major revolution in media ethics because of society’s dependency on technology. With technology allowing us to be more connected than ever before, online privacy, security, and ownership issues are beginning to be viewed in a new way because of the internet. As we shift to a more technology-dependent nation we see more and more issues with our government trying to regulate media and media-tracking systems being over-invasive.
My understanding of our First Amendment rights and responsibilities have definitely been impacted by what I’ve learned in this class. The first Amendment enforces that Congress does not make any law prohibiting American’s freedom of speech (Free Speech and the Regulation of Social Media Content, 2019). I had no idea about the complexities involved with censorship and regulation online. The federal government cannot make laws censoring one’s freedom of speech which includes the private owned businesses which run social media sites. Because we get most of our information online, these laws have given private sectors more control to monitor and censor speech among their platforms. It is a complicated issue that is still being debated today.
I will apply what I have learned in this class to my personal and professional life in various ways. As I jump into a communication career field, I need to be aware of the laws discussed throughout this course. I will apply what I’ve learned about libel law when entering into a communications field and ensure that I avoid publishing any material that could harm either myself or my company. I also need to ensure that I am not guilty of violating any form of intellectual property or copyright laws discussed throughout this course. Finally, this course has allowed me to understand what right I have and am protected from under the First Amendment.
In order for a future student to be successful in this course, it is crucial that they actually read the course content week-to-week. It is full of complex issues and topics and skimming through the case studies and chapters will not be sufficient if they want to fully grasp the topics discussed. Overall, the topics discussed are complex but extremely interesting, so as long as they stay engaged, they should be fine!
Murcia, A. (2020). Section 230 of the communications decency act: why California courts interpreted it correctly and what that says about how we should change it. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 52(1), 235-276. https://eds-s-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.umgc.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=3ec3e953-a949-4712-92fe-eed444cb8990%40redis
Free speech and the regulation of social media content. (2019). Congressional Research Service. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45650
What is your key takeaway about U.S. media ethics and law from this class?
In order to establish a good relationship, mutual respect and trust are essential. Lies, deceptions and half truths violate both requirements. Any statement of facts, that is intended to deceive, is just another way of lying. I think I’d implement that anyone caught creating or being part of “fake/misleading news” be prosecuted and disallowed to work in the media industry again and given a maximum prison sentence of no less than 10 years or more and no parole full sentence no get out of prison early schemes for good behavior. I also think a fine for misleading the people should be served after the prison sentence is served.
How has your understanding of your First Amendment rights and responsibilities been affected by what you have learned here?
Look over the rights protected by the First Amendment. They are all fundamental human rights, and the government is prohibited from interfering with, or infringing upon any of them. Read and understand them thoroughly. Take them to heart right after whatever religion you adhere to. Defend them, and all the other rights with your life. That’s why the Second Amendment exists, to protect our right to the means to defend our rights. That makes them critically important to me and to the whole world.
How will you apply what you have learned in your professional or personal life?
Compassion is an aspect of your true nature. It is a commodity harvested from within, an aspect of the Consciousness of love. It occurs naturally when an unclear mind and wounded emotions don’t block its natural flow. We understand that we are all works in progress and do the best we can. We understand that were we in trouble those people would perhaps help us out. We understand our shared humanity and in that love, the love that is the foundation of the human soul, we feel compassion for our brothers and sisters who, like ourselves long for what we all long for. To extend understanding of one’s own desires and pain to another human being out of our inherent unity and love is compassion.
What success strategies advice do you have to offer future students of this class?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a college student is assuming that a degree with guarantee future success. Many college students spend their four years in college following the path that was laid out for them by their parents or their professors. When they graduate, they have no idea what to do with their lives. Suddenly all the structure is gone, and there’s no clear direction. That is why I recommend that college students make an effort to use university as a chance to learn about themselves. If you’re in college now, take classes that interest you. Find an internship with a cool company. Talk to your professors and build connections. Don’t be passive. If you aren’t sure that college is for you, take some time to explore your options.