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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, Bradley Wilson, Assistant Professor and Director of Student Media at Midwestern State University’s Department of Mass Communication, writes that images from the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing fueled an ongoing debate among professionals about the publication of graphic images and whether or not it is acceptable to alter a spot news image digitally. Professionals and non-photojournalists responding to a 36-question survey after the Boston Marathon agreed that publication of graphic, spot-news images was acceptable as a reflection of what happened at a major news event. Those polled also agreed that manipulation was generally acceptable in photo illustrations but not at all acceptable in hard news images. Nearly 100 percent agreed that “The highest and strictest standards should be applied to hard-news photographs.” Professionals disagreed with non-photographers, however, who accepted the blurring of the face of a victim of the bombing and the digital removal of broken bones in a New York Daily News image.

             Jared Schroeder, Assistant Professor of Journalism at Southern Methodist University, and Adam Saffer, Assistant Professor of Media and Journalism at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, explore when or if public relations practitioners can receive legal protections that have traditionally been associated with the institutional press under the press clause of the First Amendment. The emergence of network-based communication technologies has changed the way public relations practitioners communicate and access information and has limited their reliance upon journalism gatekeepers for access to the means of reaching audiences. Their article concludes that elements from a combination of the public information and the two-way symmetric models of public relations, as well as aspects of the dialogic approach to public relations, could provide the best opportunity for practitioners to qualify for communication protections that have been traditionally reserved for journalists.

            Michele Bush Kimball, Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University, uses mixed methods to explore how information access professionals define nuisance requests and how they respond to requests they do not want to fill: requests they consider to be ridiculous, burdensome, inconvenient, unreasonable, unwarranted, vague, or frivolous.  Her study explains what frustrates access professionals the most and provides guidance for both sides of the request process on ways to improve their interactions so as to strengthen citizen participation in democracy.

             Finally, Mesenbet A. Tadeg, a Ph.D. Candidate, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway, and Lecturer of Law, Addis Ababa University School of Law, analyzes the current state of press and media freedom in Ethiopia, in particular the normative problems related with the regulation of freedom of expression and the media in light of both the general theory of freedom of expression and international human rights law. Since the contested national election in 2005, Tadeg concludes, the state has continued to take measures which drastically affect political speech and harshly narrow the political space. These include the adoption of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, and the 2008 Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation.

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.

Peer Review:

All manuscripts will undergo blind peer review. The normal review period is three months or less.

Submissions:

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.

Manuscript Preparation:

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.

Permissions:

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.