The communications industry is huge. It covers a wide range of media including newspapers, video broadcasting, magazines and telecommunications. Each day, a vast amount of information is exchanged through these various media, which is why there are laws and ethical practices in place to regulate this information, and as a result, protect consumer interest.
What Is Communication Law and Ethics?
Communication law focuses on the legal aspects of transferring information through the internet, print, telephone and wireless communication. Have you ever noticed those letters you receive after signing up for internet or cable television service? Well, those letters, called privacy notices, are designed to document the rights of the consumer. To put it simply, a service provider cannot infringe on an individual’s privacy by selling personal information to other companies.
Communications law and ethical practices were created as a result of the passage of the Communication Act of 1934. The act also created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Various state and federal organizations, like the FCC, work together to form and enforce laws on how companies and the public are allowed to collect, transfer and use information.
Print and online news media are not as heavily regulated as television broadcasting. Still, there must be respect for ethical practices and rules. Newspaper and broadcast journalists are able to alert editors to any potential legal or ethical problems for online/print publications or television networks. Misquoting, printing false statements, and outright libel can result in hefty fines and embarrassing lawsuits — not to mention diminishing credibility with the public.
What Can You Learn from an Online Communication Law and Ethics Course?
The Lamar University online communications law & ethics course provides an introduction to the legal issues facing all aspects of communication. No matter your profession, you will need a basic understanding of the laws and ethical principles that govern the media.
The Lamar University online communication law & ethics course focuses on:
- The conflicts that lead to issues of privacy, copyright infringement, free press, the Bill of Rights, etc.
- The rights that media professionals enjoy under the First Amendment and the professional responsibilities they must exercise when taking advantage of their rights.
- Legal limitations faced by each branch of the media.
- Technology ethics.
- How to treat the privacy of sources.
- Liability for emotional and physical harm.
- What the media considers indecent, especially regarding obscenity and pornography.
Your decision to pursue a career in communications is a wise one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this industry is expected to increase at a rate of 4 percent by the year 2024. Earning your communications degree online will deepen your understanding and respect for the laws that govern the communications trade. These laws and regulations not only serve to protect individual rights to privacy, but also ensure that the industry as a whole operates responsibly and ethically.
Learn more about the Lamar University online BS in Communication program.