Student journalists debrief presentation case exploring contamination


Contributed by Ann Marie Adams


Contamination of residential settings, military service, toxic tort and precedent setting law were a central focus of discovery for twenty-nine journalism law students of the Roy H Park School of Communications at Ithaca College this semester. 




“Laws impact the way journalists are able to do their jobs and what information they are able to report to their publics,” says Ann-Marie Adams, instructor for the journalism law course. “In this course, we reviewed the principles underlying relevant law and court cases with an emphasis on jurisdiction and precedents.” 


This course offered by the Department of Journalism at Ithaca College examines the American legal and policy making systems so that students can gain an understanding of how laws, particularly the First Amendment, address a range of issues involving freedom of speech and press, including: courts of law, defamation, libel, prior restraint, shield laws, open access, privacy, and the public’s right to know. 


The real-world presentation case study assigned during the course involved case law analysis, partnership with a mass media research course, individual investigative work and requests for information (FOI) to frame a podcast series produced by the students relating to the Laurel Bay Military Housing Public Health Review. This is the second term this case has been analyzed by Ithaca College students. The students present this series as an ethical and case law analysis focused on identifying the particular issues of the case, the evidence or facts that pertain to the case, and the extrinsic factors that inform the case as well as to reflect on their experiences in framing a legal story with a journalistic lens. 


The students will host a podcast briefing on Thursday, December 19, 2019 beginning at 8:15 a.m. to reflect on their experience in submitting a FOI and interpreting the laws and federal regulations associated with the Laurel Bay Military Housing case. This event is free and open to the public and will transpire in Room 323  of Williams Hall at Ithaca College. 


For more information about the briefing or to learn more about the course offering contact Ann-Marie Adams, instructor via email at aadams4@ithaca or landline at (607) 274-1423.