In the early days of the 20th century, the original curriculum of the world's first school of journalism included a required course in communication law. The class dealt with libel and, to a substantial degree, with postal regulations. That made sense at the time; 85% of all journalism graduates went to work for community newspapers, and an understanding of law affecting mail was important.
Much about journalism is different now, and with the changes has come the recognition that the field is much broader. Today's graduates, especially advertising and public relations specialists, are assuming positions throughout the media.
Journalists and advertising and public relations practitioners need to acquire many of the same skills, including the ability to write and edit well and to engage in critical thinking. They also need to learn a great deal about public opinion and human behavior, and their professionalism and ethical values should be uniformly high. As was the case with those pioneering journalism students nearly a century ago, today's journalism and mass communication students must be aware of the laws and jurisprudence affecting their chosen fields.
But many of the specific issues and concerns of advertising and public relations executives are different from those of editors and reporters. This volume, designed to serve both the student and the practitioner, was written to address these issues and concerns.
Although there are some excellent general media law texts available, none has been developed to the extent this one has, to reflect the distinctive needs of advertising and public relations professionals.
Some of the specific differences you will notice are (a) two entire chapters devoted to the commercial speech doctrine, including its history and development; (b) separate chapters on public interest speech, on professional advertising and promotion, on product liability, and trademarks, patents and