Mass Communication: New Media and the First Amendment

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This semester, I began taking classes at UCF to pursue a second M.A. degree in Interpersonal Communication.  What I didn’t know was how much I’d love my current class.  I’d never studied law before, and, initially, the thought of applying the First Amendment to new media issues didn’t strike me as particularly interesting.  Man, was I wrong!

So far, I’ve read three Supreme Court cases: The New York Times v. SullivanGertz v. Welch, and The Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Commission on Human Relations.  We’ve also dissected two essays, one on commercial speech and one on content restrictions.  Now that we’re six weeks into the class, we’ve started considering possible paper topics, and we must tackle one new media issue as it relates to the First Amendment.  For example, we could talk about copyright issues with Pinterest.  Since new media changes every single day, the ideas we’ll all be exploring are exciting.  I definitely want to focus on blogging, since I obviously do it and love it so much, but I haven’t yet decided how to frame an argument.  I’m finding inspiration everywhere; most recently, I read a few pages in Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together that struck me as interesting and worthy of arguing… We’ll see!

What new media issues are you most interested in studying?

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