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The Media Law Project is a unique research and training program for journalists, students, academics, media lawyers and others in the communications industry in Hong Kong, mainland China and the region.
Without a firm grounding in the basics of media law, journalists risk exposing themselves to libel prosecutions, harming themselves, their publications and the subjects of their reporting. Conversely, if they don’t know their rights under the law, journalists risk being too timid, self censoring their reporting for no good reason. In mainland China, the issue is particularly acute as the legal environment is rapidly evolving in response to changes in the society.
But in any newsroom, legal questions pose every day dilemmas. Is this permissible? Have we given the subject of our stories fair treatment? Are we on firm ground? The project includes research, media law courses and seminars. In addition, noted speakers on the subject of media law frequently appear on campus under the project’s auspices.
The programme has produced a media law text book Hong Kong Media Law: A Guide for Journalists and Media Professionals, (HKU Press 2006), which is the first book of its kind in Hong Kong. Other ongoing research includes such areas as access to information, media ownership, press freedom, media law education and privacy. The project has created an international advisory board and partnerships with legal practitioners, universities, law faculties and scholars.
Other research avenues include such areas as access to information, media ownership, press freedom, media law education and privacy.
About the project director
Doreen Weisenhaus is the director of the Media Law Project and author of the book, Hong Kong Media Law: A Guide for Journalists and Media Professionals (HKU Press 2007). She joined the JMSC faculty in 2000.
In addition to a distinguished career as city editor of The New York Times, where she had particular responsibility for criminal justice and the courts, she also was the first legal editor of The New York Times Magazine. Weisenhaus was also editor-in-chief of the National Law Journal, a leading publication for lawyers in the U.S. A law graduate Northwestern University, she was also a prosecuting attorney in New York City.