The Indiana University School of Journalism has created a new research center that focuses on legal protection for the media here and around the world. The Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies will support research and host public events related to free expression issues and give students the chance to work with organizations that promote media freedom, the school announced Monday.
The center is the first at a publicly supported journalism school to focus on international media law. It’s already working on a legal research study on criminal libel laws in the United States.
“While Americans sometimes don't particularly have a strong knowledge of First Amendment rights, they have even less knowledge about the rest of the world,” said Anthony Fargo, an associate professor of journalism and director of the center. “What a lot of people don't realize is that when they decide to start a blog or post comments about someone they don't like from another country, they are potentially making themselves open to being liable to the laws of that country, because the Internet is an international medium.”
School of Journalism Interim Dean Michael Evans said the center in Bloomington will introduce a multicultural legal dimension to the research and coursework underway at the school.