Media law & court reporting

What is media law and court reporting?

Media law is one of the core skills needed to get your NCTJ diploma because all journalists must know the legal and regulatory boundaries of what they can and can’t report.

The module covers a number of important topics from contempt and defamation to libel and slander.

We also teach court reporting as a separate module, covering court reporting restrictions, regulatory and ethical considerations.

Media law is a compulsory module on all our NCTJ-accredited courses.

Court reporting is an optional module on all courses except for our remote-only course – and you can only sit the court reporting exam if you are also studying shorthand.

Why is it important for journalism to learn about media law and court reporting?

Your legal knowledge will sometimes be as important as your ability to craft an intro.

Press freedom is enshrined in our law, so it is vital to know how doggedly you can pursue a story without fear or favour and understand the full implications of what you are writing.

Court reporting is an important option for those who want to become news reporters. Whether you want to report on hard-hitting political stories or celebrity gossip, courts remain an excellent source for stories.

How do we teach media law and court reporting?

We don’t expect you to come brimming full of media law knowledge. We will be building from the absolute basics and you will soon have a grasp of what you can and can’t legally get away with as a journalist.

You will also tackle copyright, breach of confidence, privacy, disclosure of sources and more, with plenty of opportunities for discussion.

Your number one guiding light will be McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, the textbook for media law.

This book is an absolute must, keeping a complicated subject relatively simple and giving explanations that tally with the exam marking guide.

With a proven blend of focussed lectures and light-hearted exercises, we consistently navigate all our trainees through this crucial subject ensuring you’ll leave us with a thorough grounding in media law.