More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age

By Bush, Ellen M. | Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age


Bush, Ellen M., Journalism & Mass Communication Educator


Sableman, Mark. (1997) More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press. 302 pp. paperback, $19.95. hardback, $49.95.

Communications lawyer Mark Sableman covers the broad range of communications law in a compact, readable format. He packs privacy, internet policy, censorship, libel and slander, copyright and intellectual property, advertising, broadcasting and journalistic confidentiality into a tight 300-page book.

Sableman takes a confident, knowledgeable approach to complicated issues, reflecting his background in newspaper reporting and law practice. He chooses recent cases and practical examples to describe and analyze the broad spectrum of modern communications law. The book is based on essays and articles written for the St. Louis Journalism Review and other publications. It's written for interested citizens, he explains in the preface, meaning it should work for both a legal and a lay audience.

Sableman is largely successful in writing for a broad audience. This is not a highly academic book that attempts to include every case and issue. The reader will either see this book as a refreshing approach using more popular terms and language or grow frustrated by the lack of reference to some wellknown but older cases and principles. Full case names are at the back of the book, not in the copy, and often there's no reference to the year. While the book contains notes at the back and a bibliography, there's no index of cases or issues. The broadcast section is only nine pages long.

Sometimes the language is flippant and irreverent, characteristics that could endear the author to students trudging through law cases.

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