Law and the Media explores different elements of media culture: treatment by media of events in relation to crimes, political corruption cases, movies, youtube videos, tv series, …, as social tools to introduce into legal aspects. These elements provide a great deal of information about the society in which they are created.
Because a relatively small proportion of the public has direct experience with the justice system, public knowledge and views of law and the legal system are largely dependent on media representations. Indeed, law, crime, and justice are frequent topics of media coverage. A substantial portion of local news pertains to crime and justice, and the legal troubles of our political leaders occupy a significant portion of national news coverage. Issues of law, crime, and justice are well represented among the most popular fiction and nonfiction television series and movies. It is now routine to watch television news broadcasts that include videotaped highlights of ongoing trials.
The media actively construct social and political reality. Through analysis and interpretation, we can extract a lot of data about those intangible elements that surround the Law and shape it.
In the theoretical first part of the course, we will discuss the existing literature around Law and Media. In the practical part, the analysis of the field will be put into practice, and for this, extracts from news coverage, scenes from movies, tv series and YouTube videos will be analyzed. All of them obviously, where legal concepts and elements come into play in relation to the society where they are inserted.
The objective of the course would be to deepen the analysis of the necessary relationship between law and the society in which it is registered. This relationship is dialectical: society creates law based on a specific legal culture, and law shapes society at the same time. And what is of interest here, is how the media work as a conditioning factor of the communication processes in society.