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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Media Law & Ethics
Module Code CM5998
School Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Mark O'Brien
Semester 2: Mark O'Brien
Autumn: Mark O'Brien
Module TeacherNo Teacher Assigned
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module provides students with robust engagement with the legal and ethical issues that arise in the production of any documentary artefact. It introduces students to the major legal and ethical debates that inform contemporary documentary practice – debates that will inform their own decision-making as documentary producers.

Learning Outcomes

1. Appraise and critique the impact of relevant law on documentary practice and public debate
2. Appraise and critique ethical decision making in documentary practice and public debate
3. Recognise and assess risk associated with defamation, copyright, contempt of court and privacy in the context of documentary practice
4. Recognise and assess risk associated with ethical issues relating to documentary practice
5. Exercise legal and ethical vigilance as a core competence of documentary practice
6. Analyse and compare ethical theory and practice within the Anglo-American model with other, competing ethical theories and standards of professional practice

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture2Indicative Content and Learning Activities
Lecture2The Irish Legal System
Lecture2The Law of Defamation
Lecture2Contempt of Court
Lecture2Privacy & Copyright
Lecture2Media Regulation
Lecture2Introduction to Moral Debates for Professional Ethical Decision-Making.
Lecture2Foundational Ethical Tenets Derived from Western Philosophy
Lecture2Critical Counterpoints inc. Feminist, Post-Colonial and Globalisation perspectives
Lecture2Sustainability & Ethical Responsibility
Lecture2DCU Ethics Approval Process
Total Workload: 22

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentReport comparing and analysing professional codes of conduct50%n/a
AssignmentEssay on key legal issues50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Eoin Carolan and Ailbhe O’Neill: 2019, Media Law in Ireland,
  • Maura Adshead & Tom Felle: 2015, Ireland and the Freedom of Information Act,
  • Eoin McCullough and Neville Cox: 2014, Defamation: Law and Practice,
  • John Maher: 2011, The Law of Defamation,
  • Tanya Ni Mhuirthuile, Catherine O’Sullivan, Liam Thornton: 2016, Fundamentals of the Irish Legal System: law, policy and politics,
  • Yvonne Murphy & Donal McGuinness: 2011, Journalists and the Law,
  • Andrea Martin: 2011, Media Law Ireland: Answers to Your Top 100 Media Law Questions,
  • Stephen J. A. Ward and Herman Wasserman: 2010, Media Ethics Beyond Borders,
  • Tony Harcup: 2007, The Ethical Journalist,
  • L. Zion & D. Craig: 2014, Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices,
  • Ward, S. J. A.: 2015, Radical Media Ethics: A Global Approach,
  • R. Keeble: 2009, Ethics for Journalists,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MADPMasters in Documentary Practice

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