Course Title: Media and the Law

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Media and the Law

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities. 

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT: 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Alexandra Wake

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9749

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Level 9 Building 4 Room 57

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will examine the key laws, regulations and regulating bodies that govern and restrict the media and journalism practice. You will analyse the legal system, look at how laws are made and the role of courts, parliament and tribunals in relation to journalism. You will also discuss self-regulation and its impact on journalism practice, and learn the practical skills of court and legal reporting.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Identify and act within the relevant laws, policies and regulations governing the news media.
  • Effectively and professionally communicate your ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the legal and regulatory restrictions on expression and their impact on journalism practice.
  2. Report on court hearings and legal issues.
  3. Explain and apply the laws of defamation and contempt of court, privacy law, broadcasting law and intellectual property to your practice.
  4. Compare and contrast the different roles of courts, tribunals and regulatory bodies in relation to journalism.
  5. Evaluate the role and impact of self-regulation on the media and journalists.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as studios, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for Journalism students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies at

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: Assessment Policy

Assessment Tasks

Task 1: Test (Individual) 30% Linked Course Learning outcomes: 1,3,4

Task 2: Court Report (Individual) 30% Linked Course Learning outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Task 3: Test (Individual) 40% Linked Course Learning outcomes: 1,2,3,5