In April 2012, the School of Law began publishing the Journal of Media Law & Ethics (ISSN1940-9389), an online, peer-reviewed journal exploring current legal issues facing the media including copyright, defamation and reporters' privilege.
Published quarterly, JMLE seeks theoretical and analytical manuscripts that advance the understanding of media law and ethics in society. Submissions may have a legal, historical, or social science orientation, but must focus on media law or ethics.
In the current issue of the UB Journal of Media Law & Ethics, Robert Kerr surveys the various ways lower courts have read the Supreme Court decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc. So far, at least, there is no consistency in their interpretations, leaving commercial speech doctrine in a state of confusion. Kerr points to the contradictory opinions on the same facts of two Ninth Circuit panels as posing an opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify the issue and stabilize the doctrine.
In the second article, Chris Terry examines yet another inconsistency, the FCC’s enforcement of its indecency standard over the years since the Pacifica case. Following his survey of enforcement “eras,” Terry predicts how enforcers in each era would treat broadcasters’ use of the word “shithole” in the context of reporting President Trump’s alleged use of the term to refer to undeveloped countries. Terry concludes that the real “indecency” here is the “subjective, flexible, and variable” conditions of FCC enforcement.
Yong Tang investigates the development of libel law in China in this issue’s third article. Tang points out that, over the last 30 years, the National People’s Congress and the Supreme Court have steadfastly refused to recognize the New York Times v. Sullivan principle to constrain politicians and famous persons from suing for defamation. But he is encouraged by the trend among local courts increasingly to cite or adopt a distinction between public figure and private citizen plaintiffs. And he argues that China should adopt the Sullivan standard when its media become more independent, ethical and responsible.
Finally, Rasul Olukolu and three colleagues provide a comprehensive look at the rise of social media in Nigeria and the government’s attempts to impose regulations that they believe constitute an unconstitutional suppression of free speech and press. In particular, they criticize the government’s failed attempt to enact legislation that could imprison Nigerians for criticizing politicians and public officials and for circulating false messages to others on social media. The article condemns what the authors call censorship in the guise of regulation.
All theoretical perspectives are welcome. All manuscripts undergo blind peer review. Access to JMLE is available to the public at no charge.Exclusivity:
All manuscripts must be original and must not be under consideration at other journals.
All manuscripts will undergo blind peer review. The normal review period is three months or less.
The ideal length for submitted papers is 20-30 double-spaced pages (6,000 to 8,000 words using 12-point Times Roman or equivalent type), including footnotes, tables, and figures. Longer manuscripts will be considered when space is available.The submission and review process will be electronic; all manuscripts should be prepared using Microsoft Word or converted to that format. Email should be sent to the editor, Eric B. Easton, professor of law.
All footnotes should be in Bluebook form. All text must be double-spaced except tables and figures, which must be "camera-ready." Microsoft Word is the required software program for formatting manuscripts. The title page should include the title of the manuscript, names and affiliations of all authors, as well as their addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Five key words for referencing the document in electronic databases are also required. Only the title page should contain identifying information. The second page should include the manuscript title and an abstract of 150 to 250 words. All figures and tables must be formatted to 5.5 inches in width and no more than 7.5 inches in height.
Copyright and Production Notes:
All works submitted must be original and must not have been published elsewhere. Authors of works that are selected for publication shall retain the copyright in their works. However, authors should give the Journal of Media Law & Ethics and the University of Baltimore School of Law a nonexclusive right to publish the work in journals, books, or any other collections that it may publish at the same time or in the future. Authors shall be given credit in such works and will continue to control the copyright in their own works. After a manuscript is accepted for publication, the author or authors are expected to proofread and edit the page proofs when they are provided.
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright owners to use lengthy quotations (450 words or more) or to reprint or adapt a table or figure that has been published elsewhere. Authors should write to the original copyright holder requesting nonexclusive permission to reproduce the material in this journal and in future publications of the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Email an electronic copy of manuscripts to: Eric Easton, Editor.