Practical Guide to Media Law, A : 9780205911899

Practical Guide to Media Law, A

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Out of stock
Title type

Demonstrates the practical realities of media law in a succinct reference guide


Written by a media lawyer who works in-house for a national news organization and also teaches media law, A Practical Guide to Media Law is intended to help non-lawyers understand the legal issues involved in modern communications and journalism. It is particularly useful for future journalists, who need to be trained in the legal issues that will affect their work; but it is also an excellent guide for anyone who communicates in any capacity: tweeting, Facebooking, commenting, blogging, posting photos, managing public relations, running a website, etc.  It’s a training manual for the real world of communication.


MySearchLab is a part of the Messenger program. Research and writing tools, including access to academic journals, help students understand critical thinking in even greater depth. To provide students with flexibility, students can download the eText to a tablet using the free Pearson eText app.


This title is available in a variety of formats — digital and print. Pearson offers its titles on the devices students love through Pearson’s MyLab products, CourseSmart, Amazon, and more. To learn more about pricing options and customization, click the Choices tab.

Table of contents

Part I: Introductory Material

Preface:  How to Use This Book

Chapter 1: Court Systems, Citation, and Procedure

Chapter 2: The First Amendment – Theory and Practice


Part II: When Can You Be Sued (Or Prosecuted) For The Information You Publish?

Chapter 3: Libel: The Risk of Criticism, Insults and Trash Talk

Chapter 4: Privacy: Publishing Private, Embarrassing or Sensitive Information

Chapter 5: Using Someone’s Name or Likeness

Chapter 6: Copyright: Issues With Creating Content or Using Other People’s Content

Chapter 7: Use of Trademarks, Logos, Slogans and Product Names

Chapter 8: Publishing Photos, Images, or Other Illustrations

Chapter 9: Use of Music

Chapter 10: Content that May Result in Personal Injury


Part III: Legal Issues in the Newsgathering Process

Chapter 11: Access to Information/Places/Events

Chapter 12: Newsgathering


Part IV: How Does the Government Regulate or Interfere with Speech?

Chapter 13: Being Subpoenaed or Searched

Chapter 14: Speaking, Disseminating, or Protesting in Public Places 

Chapter 15: Punishing or Restricting Sensitive or Offensive Topics

Chapter 16: Political Speech, Elections and Campaigns

Chapter 17: Ads/Promotions/Marketing

Chapter 18: Television & Radio—FCC Regulation

Chapter 19: Special Classes of Speakers


Part V:  Special Considerations in the Modern Era

Chapter 20: How the Internet has Affected Publishing and the Law

Chapter 21: Practical Issues Related to Media Law

Features & benefits
  • Explains Complicated Legal Issues in a Clear, Concise Manner - The text is a reference guide organized into five sections that group conduct by the potential kinds of liability or legal issues that might arise. This emphasis on behavior rather than legal theory allows non-lawyers to more easily apply legal principles to real life conduct. Charts and graphs summarize key points and help readers see how concepts are related.

  • Incorporates Contemporary Cases and Issues - Relevant cases are discussed throughout and are used to illustrate how key principles are applied in real-life scenarios.  Chapter 20 solely focuses on how the Internet has affected publishing and the law.

  • Provides Case Citations - For those who wish to explore the case law for each topic in full, a Table of Citations is provided.

Author biography

Ashley Messenger is Associate General Counsel for NPR, specializing in First Amendment and media law issues.  She has previously served as Editorial Counsel to U.S. News & World Report, a Fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a radio talk show host.  She has been practicing law for nearly 20 years, almost entirely in the field of media law.


She is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Communication at American University, where she has taught media law for graduate and undergraduate students since 2002.  She has also taught similar classes at George Washington University and George Mason University.  In the fall of 2013, she will be a visiting adjunct at the University of Michigan School of Law, teaching First Amendment law.


Professional honors and leadership roles include being a member of the Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council; co-chair of the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication/Pre-Broadcast Review Committee; Vice Chair of the D.C. Bar Media Law Committee; and on the governing board of the ABA Forum on Communications Law.  She received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a J.D. from Pepperdine University.