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Media and Human Rights is an innovative course bringing together the study of traditional human rights concerns regarding the media and current debates regarding the role played by the media within the field of human rights.  It aims to consider the protections offered to the media by human rights law, the role played by the media within human rights and the mediatization of human rights - its turn to advocacy, representation and communication.  The course will consider topics such as free speech, hate speech, privacy, the protection of journalists in conflict, human rights reportage, fact-finding and witnessing, the internet, social media and human rights.  Case studies will include: Wikileaks, online advocacy such as Kony 2012, the role of social media in the Arab Spring and debates regarding 'clicktivism'.  There will also be consideration of the resilience of human rights concepts in terms of internet regulation and internet freedom.  This course will be of interest to students with an interest in human rights law and how it applies in the context of media. It will offer a balance of theoretical and practical insights and provide the opportunity for students to engage in research in a new and dynamic field. As such, it will be of particular interest to those students seeking future employment in the field of journalism, print/electronic media, communication and marketing as well as traditional advocacy work. The course complements other JD course offerings in the area of human rights law and media.

Main Topics

  • Free Speech and Media Freedom
  • Hate Speech; Media Genocide
  • Privacy, Big Data and Surveillance
  • Human Rights Journalism
  • Protecting Journalists in Conflict
  • Conflict and Documentary Photography
  • Human Rights Fact-Finding and Evidence
  • Human Rights Advocacy
  • Human Rights, Media and Agenda-Setting
  • Internet Freedom and Regulation
  • Digital Media Activism and Human Rights 
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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