Media Law, Ethics & Journalism Training

The following list is just an example of the courses I offer and their content. One of the unique aspects of my training is that every course is tailored to the exact requirements of the client, with draft itineraries produced for client amendment and approval before the training takes place. Please contact to discuss further. Courses can be run in-house at a client’s venue, or see Training Dates pages for the regular day-courses that I run in London. I also provide online webinars covering all the courses below, at a time to suit the client.

Introduction to media law – A basic course introducing the various aspects of media law that can affect anyone publishing in the UK. It covers areas such as libel, contempt, reporting the courts, sexual offences, children, privacy&confidentiality and copyright. Suitable for those with little or no experience in this field.
Course Aims: To equip someone new to journalism with a good working knowledge of the main legal pitfalls involved in publication in print, the web, or broadcast,

Media law refresher – Covering the same topics as the introduction, this is a course aimed at those with some experience, but who need to refresh their knowledge of what is a very fast-moving area of law
Course Aims: To update the knowledge of experienced journalists about the many changes in key areas of the law in recent years.

The General Data Protection Regulation – The GDPR comes into effect from May 25, 2018 It will have an impact on how organisations gather, store, use and share data. What effect is has vary much depends on the kind of organisation they are the sorts of data they collect and use. I provide training to make sure that your organisation understands the GDPR and its obligations and that you can make sure your organisation is compliant with its requirements.

Course aims – To give those attending a thorough grounding in the GDPR and its requirements so they can ensure their organisation is fully compliant.

Media law for local government – I have worked extensively with local government, especially council comms teams and provide training specific to their needs. The courses I provide cover a range of laws that affect the sort of output council comms expect to make, including libel, contempt, children & vulnerable people, data protection, privacy, copyright and media ethics. I also offer a tailored version of this course aimed at elected members, which addresses the specific issues around their use of social media.

Course aims – to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest laws affecting local government, in order to promote effective and legal communications.

Law for Student Media – I have been working with students unions across the UK delivering sessions for their student media societies for 10 years. The course covers the ranges of subjects and issues that can arise for student publications and broadcasters. The session covers the law for print, online and broadcast content and uses many examples drawn from student media cases. I also provide retained advisory services for students unions so they can send any problematic content to me for advice before publication or broadcast.

Course aims – to provide student journalists and the union officers who work with them with a grounding in the basics of media law, so they are better able to avoid potential legal difficulties.

Drone Law – The use of drones in news gathering has grown hugely in recent years and it presents a number of legal issues for those involved. These range from Civil Aviation Authority rules to copyright, privacy and ethical issues. This course will equip anyone using drones with the knowledge necessary to do so without incurring legal risks.

Introduction to IPSO Press Regulation – IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organisation established by the industry will be regulating much of the press, magazines and their associated websites from September.

It will differ from the Press Complaints Commission in that it will be able to conduct investigations into publications that fail to meet standards and in some cases, levy financial penalties of up to £1m for systematic breaches of standards.
Course Aims: to train journalists and editorial executives in compliance with the new regulatory regime that will replace the Press Complaints Commission this year, equipping them with knowledge of IPSO structure and standards; how to respond to complaints and investigations; and the operation of financial penalties.

Libel and the Defamation Act 2013 – The new Act makes some significant changes to libel law. It introduces new defences for publishers and will have an impact on what claimants have to show as well. Website operators need to be aware that the Act’s regulations concerning comments placed in their sites come into force on January 1, 2014.
Course Aims: To give attendees a good working knowledge of changes to the law and what they need to do as journalists and publishers to make sure they can avoid libel and claim crucial libel defences. The course also includes guidance to what is libellous, dangerous claimants, defences, damages and costs, slander and malicious falsehood.

Online media law – This is one of the fastest-changing areas of media law, as the courts and legislators struggle to keep up with the pace of technological change. The diversity of publishing platforms and devices people use to consume new media opens up new legal issues every week. This course covers libel, reporting restrictions, copyright, privacy, sexual offences, children and ethics, from the point of view of those publishing on the web. Online publications face a number of legal risks not shared by those publishing in print, as well as enjoying some specific defences available to online publishers only.
Course Aims: To give those attending a good understanding of the risks and defences unique to online publication, with reference to growing number of cases that have gone through the courts.

Law for PR & Comms – I have worked with a number of organisations involved in public relations and communications, in the public, private and third sector.
I offer in-house media law training days tailored specifically for audiences from these professions covering subject areas such as libel, slander and malicious falsehood; privacy, confidentiality and data protection; contempt of court and reporting restrictions on prosecutions, victims and vulnerable people; media and industry codes of practice and reputation management. The training covers publication in print, online and on social media.
Course Aims: To explain to members of this industry the way the law impacts their sector; how to avoid risk; how to advise clients accordingly to maximise effectiveness of campaigns.

Other courses – contact for details

Copyright and IP Law in the Digital Age
Law for photographers and camera operators
Freedom of Information
Law and Social Media
Law for Hyperlocals and Bloggers

Courses for Journalists and Writers
Finance and the Economy for Journalists
Writing and reportingProduction journalism
Investigative journalism
Social media for journalists and writers
Writing for Non-Journalists

Advisory Services

As well as the courses detailed above, I also provide advisory services to clients on a retainer.
I assist publishers and broadcasters in framing letters and representations to be made to oppose court orders or gain access to hearings. I also offer a copy-checking service where clients are concerned about possible legal problems in their publication, broadcast or website.
Please note this is not a replacement for legal representation – but good editorial decisions at an early stage can often avoid costly legal consequences.


3 thoughts on “Media Law, Ethics & Journalism Training

  1. Pingback: Final Interview Set – Time to Hit the Lit Review « Holly Kathleen Hall, J.D., APR

  2. Pingback: Are you ready for IPSO? | David Banks Media Law

  3. Pingback: Sexual offence anonymity – newsrooms beware | David Banks Media Law

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