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McNae's Essential Law for Journalists

Twenty-fifth edition

Mark Hanna and Mike Dodd

June 2020

ISBN: 9780198839835

568 pages

In Stock

Price: £27.99

The only book on the market accredited by the NCTJ, McNae's is the essential guide for journalism students and industry professionals.



The only media law text published in partnership with the NCTJ, McNae's Essential Law for Journalists provides unparalleled treatment of the core legal issues affecting journalists. Clear, succinct, and practical, it is the absolute handbook for students and practising journalists.

  • The authors' combined expertise in media reporting and teaching offers practical, clear, and accurate detail on vital areas of the law
  • Up-to-date case studies and examples help contextualize difficult areas for readers new to the subject and assists assessment preparation
  • 'Remember' points throughout the text highlight complex areas and provide tips for reporting, ensuring that readers understand how to balance their legal obligations with breaking news, while the 'Remember your rights' feature provides advice from the authors on asserting rights
  • The only media law text published in partnership with the NCTJ, and designed to match accredited syllabi. This text is also recommended for a broad range of media qualifications, and is an indispensable companion for professionals working in industry
  • Online resources accompany the book, including self-test questions to help students test their understanding, regular legal updates and additional reading material
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • The latest updates in prominent news areas, including privacy law with commentary on Sir Cliff Richard's victory over the BBC; contempt of court and why Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson was jailed, and the latest developments in defamation law
  • New case studies on recent rulings by regulators about whether undercover journalism was ethical, and of a Court of Appeal judgment allowing the media to identify a 17-year-old convicted of murder
  • Explanation of new rules, including giving journalists quicker access to prosecution and mitigation material in 'single justice procedure' court cases, and the change to Editors' Code of Practice to help preserve anonymity for sexual offence victims
  • Analysis of a Supreme Court judgment setting out 'open justice' principles on when journalists can have access to court case material
  • Example of how to cover a 'modern slavery' case without identifying the victim

About the Author(s)

Mark Hanna, Senior Lecturer and Chair of the NCTJ Media Law Examinations Board, University of Sheffield, and Mike Dodd, Legal Editor, Press Association and member of the NCTJ Media Law Examinations Board

Mark Hanna is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield and Chair of the NCTJ Media Law Examinations Board. He was an award-winning crime and investigations reporter.

Mike Dodd is the Press Association's legal editor and a memeber of the NCTJ's Media Law Examinations Board. He is a qualified lawyer with nearly 50 years' experience as a working journalist.

Table of Contents

    Part 1: The Landscape of Law, Ethics and Regulation
    2:Press regulation
    3:Broadcast regulation
    4:Journalism avoiding unjustified intrusion
    Part 2: Crime, Courts and Tribunals
    5:Crime - media coverage prior to any court case
    6:Crimes - categories and definitions
    7:Magistrates' courts - summary cases
    8:Magistrates' courts - the most serious criminal cases
    9:Crown courts and appeal courts
    10:Juveniles in court proceedings
    11:Sexual offences, human trafficking and female genital mutilation
    12:Court reporting - other restrictions
    13:Civil courts
    14:Family courts
    15:Open justice and access to court information
    16:Challenging in the courts
    17:Coroners' courts
    18:Tribunals and public inquiries
    19:Contempt of court
    Part 3: Defamation and Related Law
    20:Defamation - definitions and dangers
    21:The claimant and what must be proved
    23:The public interest defence
    24:The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
    25:Slander, malicious falsehood and obscenity
    Part 4: Confidentiality, Privacy and Copyright
    26:Breach of confidence
    28:Data protection
    Part 5: Information and Expression
    30:The Freedom of Information Act 2000
    31:Other information rights and access to meetings
    32:Reporting elections
    33:Official secrets
    34:The journalist's sources and neutrality
    35:The risks of being charged with bribery, misconduct, hacking or intercepting
    36:The right to take photographs, film and record
    37:Northern Ireland
    Part 6: Online Chapters
    38:The incitement of hate
    40:Terrorism and the effect of counter-terrorism law

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources
The twenty-fifth edition is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.

  • The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks
  • A comprehensive website at www.mcnaes.com accompanies the text, including regular updates from the authors to keep readers abreast of the law, additional material on important topics, and self-test questions to solidify students' understanding.

    For further insight into media law and journalism, visit the NCTJ on Twitter at @NCTJ_news.

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