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 2022)

Instructor: Diana V Baranetsky  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
Instructor: Geoffrey W King  
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


M 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Law 115
From January 10, 2022
To March 07, 2022

Course Start: January 10, 2022
Course End: March 07, 2022
Class Number: 31964
This course is open to 1Ls.

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 23
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 30
As of: 07/19 11:58 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 as well as journalist shield laws and prior restraint. While accounting for these legal doctrines, 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; and the role of foreign governments and non-nation state actors. 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, 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 on 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.

Geoffrey King is the chief executive officer of Informed California Foundation and the executive editor of its first project, the independent nonprofit newsroom Open Vallejo. Prior to founding Informed California Foundation, King led the global technology program at the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that advocates for press freedom worldwide. King previously worked as a First Amendment litigator representing journalists, activists and artists in free expression and open government matters, and he has taught an undergraduate privacy law course at UC Berkeley since 2011. King earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and his JD from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the California Bar.

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

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