Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

226.12 sec. 001 - Media Law and the First Amendment (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Victoria Baranetsky  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


M 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 25, 2021
To March 15, 2021

Course Start: January 25, 2021
Course End: March 15, 2021
Class Number: 32188

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 17
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 32
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

This course will explore both traditional and more modern challenges to press freedom, free expression, and media law. Students will learn traditional governing doctrine regulating newsgathering and publication, including but not limited to defamation, copyright and privacy law; statutory and constitutional work product protections as well as other journalist shield laws; prior restraint; and the protections from criminal liability for the receipt or publication of truthful information. The course will also focus on developments brought about by technology, including data collection tools as well as surveillance and encryption. It will discuss topics such as the impact of different forms of national security surveillance tools (including FRCP 41, FISA, and National Security Letters) on journalist-source relationships; and the role of foreign governments and non-nation state actors in the historically local endeavor of publishing the news. Last, the course will cover transparency laws such as federal and state public records laws. Perhaps the most important aim of this course is to uncover how these frameworks both shape, and are shaped by, politics, theory, markets, and technological change. The class will substantively engage with theoretical and historical texts, established as well as current case law, and evolving best practices.

Victoria Baranetsky is general counsel at The Center for Investigative Reporting. Previously, Baranetsky worked at the Wikimedia Foundation, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and The New York Times. After graduating from Harvard Law School she received a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University and clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Pooler of the Second Circuit. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a graduate degree from Columbia Journalism School, and currently, is an academic fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. She is barred in California, New York and New Jersey.

Real-time attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Public Law and Policy

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

Go to Course Search