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AP Stylebook: Media Law...

The AP Stylebook: Briefing on media law.
Generally I did not consider myself to be at all clear on the judicial system prior to workshopping and doing the readings in this unit of News Writing class. Honestly, the most that I knew about the legal system came from what I had picked up from television shows such as Law & Order and Judge Judy (jk). I never even thought about crime/accident reporting until now and how much it varied from hard/straight news writing.

I didn't even think thatI could possibly be writing a story of this nature when I get a job as a journalist. I mean you learn something new everyday. In the big picture I suppose you have to be a very versatile news writer in order to be hired by a noteworthy paper.

Regarding media law. You (as a journalist/reporter) really have to be very careful what you print in the paper regarding the character people featured in your articles. I mean someone can sue your newspaper in a heart beat for defamation of character. Both libel and slander are two words that a journalist never wants to come across.

Libel: 1. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation. OR 2. The act of presenting such material to the public.

Slander:1. Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation. OR 2. A false and malicious statement or report about someone.

In some places the terms are used synonmously. Other people believe that they are two different things. I am not sure if there is a visible and distinct difference between them when using the above definitions. A lot of the laws discussed in this section depended on the individual state legislatures and their rulings.

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