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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 pt II CS101.docx

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Communication Studies
Natalie Coulter

CS101 Chapter 11 Mass Media Law and Ethics Week 12 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The basis for all laws including media laws in Canada The media in Canada have only held these press freedoms since Queen Elizabeth II signed the Constitution Act on April 17 1982 Robertson argues that the Charter has affected the media in at least two ways First it has granted all Canadians the same basic rights and freedoms Second it protects everyone including those who work in the media from unfair limitations on expression While there is media freedom the media must also take responsibility for their actions and there may be times when the medias right to free speech may be limitedPublication Bans Limitations on media freedom of speech There are times when the judge has no choice but to issue a publication ban For example under Canadas new Youth Criminal Justice Act it is illegal to print or broadcast the names of anyone under 18 who has been charged with or convicted of a crime unless that person received an adult sentence Pornography vs Obscenity Obscenity can be controlled by the government but pornography cannot Due to the Butler RulingSupreme Court ruling that defined legal differences between obscenity and pornographyDefamationThe Concept of Defamation Defamationfalse comments that harm a reputation If someone can prove the following three things that person may be able to sue for defamation under Canadian law the words or pictures were defamatory the words or pictures were published or broadcast the words or pictures refer to a specific living person If a defamatory statement is false the utterer may be liable for millions of dollars in damage Awards and cases to defamatory are known as libel chillDefences or Defamation It is up to the media in its defence to prove any of the following as defences for defamationconsent truth privilege fair commentto avoid conviction the person mentioned in the story or picture consented to its broadcast or publication the words or pictures are true the words or pictures were published under privilege This means reporting and commenting fairly and accurately any comments made on public record For example quoting something that was said during a town council meeting or in a courtroom or contained in a media release would constitute privilege the words or pictures were fair commentsDefamation and the Internet Defamation laws will extend to the internet Just because bloggers have the ability to write whatever they want doesnt give them the licence to defame
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