Media Law and the News


The news is governed by media law which puts in place strict rules regarding what can can cannot be reported to the public. These laws aim to protect people who are vulnerable and also give people recourse if they feel that they have been wrongly spoken about by the press.

For example, if you make a claim about somebody, then this must be backed up back factual evidence, or you must be able to show that it is true when asked. If you cannot prove this then the news outlet can be sued for libel and deformation and the victim can be awarded substantial monetary compensation.

Laws also restrict the reporting of those who are under the age of 16 and in some cases under the age of 18. This is done to protect young people, even if it is because they have committed a crime.

In some cases, you can make claims that are not backed up by evidence if it is clearly under the remit of an opinion piece rather than being reported as news. The area of social media is a highly contentious issue where the law is trying to catch up with reality.