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The Journalist Abroad: Legal Risks and Dilemmas

A VICE News team covering a protest group in Turkey is arrested for aiding a terrorist organization. A BBC reporter in Thailand is accused of criminal defamation for a story on a property scam. Whether you are a foreign correspondent reporting on hate speech in France, a backpack journalist covering war in Iraq, a sportswriter on the FIFA World Cup beat in Russia, or part of a Panama Papers-style global reporting consortium, journalists abroad confront unique legal risks and dilemmas.

This seminar will take students around the world to examine major laws and cases involving freedom of expression and of the press that shape the practice of journalism within and across borders, especially those in its trouble spots where journalists abroad frequently go. It will examine international legal trends in topics journalists need to know to avoid themselves becoming the story, including defamation, privacy, national security, anti-terrorism, and more, and build on foundations laid in JOUR 401-0-20/21 (Ethics & Law of Journalism).

The seminar will also address global regulatory controversies arising from the internet's impact on journalism, such as the manipulation of social media to spread "fake news." Readings and other class materials will be provided. A final project examining an issue or event can be an article (such as profile of a jailed journalist), op-ed, case-study, audio, video or graphic.