MDIA 2301 - Media Policy and Media Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

This course examines the various media law, policy and regulatory frameworks in Australia that affect media establishments and how they enhance or constrain media institutions and the public in their communication activities. It will also examine the media regulatory frameworks of other countries. The course will examine the success or failure of existing media policy and regulations in a technologically dynamic media environment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MDIA 2301
    Course Media Policy and Media Law
    Coordinating Unit Media
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study, including 3 units of MDIA Level I courses
    Incompatible MDIA 2202
    Course Description This course examines the various media law, policy and regulatory frameworks in Australia that affect media establishments and how they enhance or constrain media institutions and the public in their communication activities. It will also examine the media regulatory frameworks of other countries. The course will examine the success or failure of existing media policy and regulations in a technologically dynamic media environment.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Saira Ali

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand how Australian media laws and regulations compare with those of other nations
    2 Understand how media policies and regulations enable or constrain effective media environments
    3 Understand the obligations and rights of media practitioners in the execution of their duties
    4 Understand some of the problems and limitations of applying old media laws in new media evironments
    5 Become more skilled in critical thinking and case analysis
    6 Become more skilled in evaluating the relevance and appropriateness of regulatory frameworks
    7 Be able to appreciate the complex issues associated with media regulation
    8 Be able to research and evaluate media products and policies
    9 Understand changing media landscapes and their possible legal implications

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The recommended textbook for the course is Breit, Rhonda (2011) Professional Communication: Legal and Ethical Issues 2nd ed, published by LexisNexis Butterworths. We will also be using Chapters 10, 13 & 15 of Butler and Rodrick (2012) Australian Media law . These books are available in the University library for reference. Copies of Breit (2011) are available at You may discover that owning a copy of the textbooks will be helpful in your ability to do the weekly readings, e-tests and future growth.
    Recommended Resources
    It must be emphasised that the above textbooks are NOT sufficient resource materials for essay/project preparations. Other useful texts you may consider are: Tim Crook (2010)Comparative media law and ethics, Routledge; Ian Cream (2006) : Legal R Freedom of Speech in Liberal Democracies, ABC Legal Services (2006) ABC All- Media Law Handbook : for Journalists, Presenters, Program Makers, Authors, Editors and Publishers , ABC Books. Robert L. Hilliard and Michael C. Keith. (2007) Dirty Discourse : Sex and Indecency in Broadcasting, Blackwell Publishing, 2nd ed.; Paul Mitchell (2005)The Making of the Modern Law of Defamation, Hart Publishing.
    Online Learning
    This course makes extensive use of MyUni for communication, teaching and assignments. It is an expectation that participants in this course check MyUni Course Announcements and University email accounts regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught via a mixture of online and face-to-face lectures and tutorials. All lectures will be pre-recorded and made available weekly via MyUni. The tutorials will be held online as well as on-campus. You are expected to view the lectures before tutorials. Attendance at tutorials is an essential part of this course; you may be disadvantaged if you fail to attend at least 80% of classes.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. As a guide, the university expects you to put in a minimum of three research hours per unit per week, therefore for a three unit load such as MPML you are required to put in at least 9 research hours per week. You are expected to read each week’s materials before hand in order to participate in the class discussions.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week-by-week course content is available on the MyUni site.
    Specific Course Requirements
    No specific course requirements.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment task                                            Weighting Course 
    Quizzes                                                                       20%                                           
    Case study review                                                        30%            
    Comparative analysis essay                                           40% 
    Participation                                                                 10%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    You must submit all assignments prior to the due date, and meet all university requirements for attendance, in order to be eligible to pass this course.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: E-tests Three online tests will be available on MyUni, the questions are based on the textbook Breit, Rhonda (2011) Professional Communication plus lecture materials. E-tests will be activated on Friday of week 3, 7 &10, each test has 10 multiple-choice questions, you will be given 3 days to complete each e-test. Value 20%

    Assessment 2: Annotated Bibliography. This piece of assignment is meant to get you started on your final major assignment and to ensure that you apply research skills and due diligence in your work. You are expected to choose one of the ten topics covered in the lectures, then narrow it down to a manageable and specific research project. You need to submit your research title and an annotated bibliography of at least 8 refereed and published references related to your topic. More instructions will be given in tutorials, individual consultation time on this assignment will also be given. 1200-1500 word. Value 30%

    Assessment 3: Tutorial attendance and your participation in class discussions will make up this component of the course. While university regulation requires at least 80% attendance to complete the requirements of a course, it is advisable that you attend all classes where practically possible. Please note that paid employment/work is not a valid excuse for absence. You must make such arrangements with your employer.

    Assessment 4: Use the same topic you have chosen for the second assignment, and develop it to an essay. You will also be given several alternative essay questions in week 10, if you prefer to customize a relevant topic yourself, please consult your tutor. Your work should be typed double spacing with minimum of font 12 Times New Roman, with justified margins. 2000 word. Value 40%.
    All assignments will be submitted electronically via the MyUni course site.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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