Seminar in Electronic Mass Media

L566 is taught by M. McGregor

This course surveys the laws and regulations applicable to the electronic mass media in the United States. We begin with a brief technology tutorial followed by a review of the process by which media law and policy are developed, including a look at the Federal Communications Commission. Next we will briefly investigate how the First Amendment applies to the electronic mass media. We will then consider the regulation of broadcasting and multi-channel video (e.g., cable systems and direct broadcast satellite). Because telecommunications is converging so rapidly, some topics may not be media specific.

During the course of the semester we will cover the initiation of service (licensing and franchising), industry structure through communication regulation and anti-trust policy, how content is regulated, and current regulatory issues affecting the electronic mass media. Throughout the course we will consider differences in the regulation of various media and whether those differences continue to make sense (if they ever did).

The text for this course is Kang, Communications Law and Policy (4th Ed.), Foundation Press, 2012.

This class has been designated as a seminar which satisfies a legal writing requirement. Paper topics will be discussed in class and finalized through individual consultations with the instructor. A presentation of your research will be made during the final weeks of the semester. The final version of your paper is due the last day of class.