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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - JOU6708
Tracking Number - 2950

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2015-01-01
Campus: St Petersburg
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only): The change combines JOU 6708 and JOU 6709 into a single course creates the opportunity to teach students how law and ethics issues go hand-in-hand and how they ultimately surface simultaneously in digital publication.
Comments: USF-SP approved 4/29/13. To USF Sys 5/23/13. To SCNS 5/31/13. JOU 6710 approved as 6708 eff 1/1/15

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2012-10-08
  2. Department: Journalism and Media Studies
  3. College: AP
  4. Budget Account Number: STP 10000 511247 000000 0000000
  5. Contact Person: Deni Elliott
  6. Phone: 7278734857
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: JOU
  9. Number: 6708
  10. Full Title: Digital Media Law and Ethics
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: Y
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Digtial Law & Ethics
  19. Course Online?: O - Online (100% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: -
  22. Prerequisites:
  23. Corequisites:
  24. Course Description: Online publishers must recognize and avoid unlawful conduct and are responsible for developing and adhering to ethical processes. This course focuses on the law and ethics of gathering, creating and publishing online content.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for new program/concentration/certificate
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? Combining law and ethics into a single course reduces course overlap and provides room in the curriculum for other needed course.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Expertise in law, ethics or both.
  29. Objectives: 1)Learn and appreciate the history and evolution of freedom of expression and the press, with focus on digital era and the global reach of the Internet.

    2) Navigate the statutes, regulations and court precedents pertaining to: access to public records and meetings; defamation; invasion of privacy; copyright; contempt; and other digitally-relevant issues;

    3) Identify digital ethics issues in situ;

    2)Articulate responsibilities of online publishers and conduct systematic analysis of particular cases, leading to normative judgments that correctly categorize actions as ethically prohibited, permitted, required, and ideal;

    3)Articulate and avoid ethical problems in the conduct of online research and data collection, selection and presentation.

    4)Illustrate how choice of language, visual portrayals, site parameters and levels of accessibility may perpetuate value assumptions and conventions of dominant society or may support domestic and global diversity.

  30. Learning Outcomes: 1) Students will demonstrate an understanding of and apply the theory and principles of U.S. constitutional, statutory, administrative and common law that protect as well as limit freedom of speech and press and will understand differences between the U.S. system and other systems of freedom of expression;

    2) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history of speech and press freedoms and will articulate applications of some classical philosophers to digital media;

    3) Students will apply ethical theory to digital journalism and design, will recognize how ethical issues arise in online environments, and will demonstrate an appreciation for how traditional ethical concepts and processes can be applied to the digital environment.

    4) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the contribution and significance of gender identification, race, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and other forms of diversity in the practice of speech and press freedoms in the U.S.and abroad.

    5) Students will learn to recognize legal and ethical issues in situ, separate legally and ethically relevant factors from those that are not, and will develop arguments and counter-arguments that illustrate understanding of the complexity of legal and ethical issues.

  31. Major Topics: Unit 1: First Amendment, Freedom of Expression, Diversity of Opinion, Tolerance and Empathy in Democracy

    Unit 2: Special Legal Protections for Journalism and Digital Publication, Role-related Responsibilities

    Unit 3: Publicity and Privacy

    Unit 4: Copyright, Intellectual Property and Fair Use

    unit 5: Content Liability, Defamation and Deception

  32. Textbooks:
  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Various additional online readings and viewings assigned throughout the semester.
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Participation in Unit 1-5 (20 points each) 25%

    Concept Exam 25%

    Law/Ethics Pre-Production Review 50%

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Introduction to Media Law & Ethics

    Unit 1: First Amendment, Freedom of Expression, Diversity of Opinion, Tolerance and Empathy in Democracy; participation in live chat and discussion board

    Unit 2: Special Legal Protections for Journalism and Digital Publication, Role-related Responsibilities; participation in live chat and discussion board

    Unit 3: Publicity and Privacy; participation in live chat and discussion board

    Concept Exam

    Unit 4: Copyright, Intellectual Property and Fair Use; participation in live chat and discussion board

    unit 5: Content Liability, Defamation and Deception; participation in live chat and discussion board

    Law/Ethics Pro-Production Review

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Its the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: No "make up" of missed work unless the student provides evidence of medical emergency. It is important to be meticulous in citing sources of information. Plagiarism, falsification or fabrication constitute research misconduct and will not be tolerated. The penalty for research misconduct is the grade of F for the class. Please review
  38. Program This Course Supports: Digital Journalism and Design
  39. Course Concurrence Information:

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