nl en

Media and Fundamental Rights


Course Description

The media is often misaligned and attacked, yet it remains a crucial aspect of a functioning democracy. Recent developments in technology have challenged its very existence, placing it under an intense spotlight with the convergence of media platforms and the growth of social media, presenting unique challenges for press, broadcasting, and other forms of media that must operate within human rights frameworks. The course examines the legal and regulatory frameworks of journalistic outlets. It focuses on four areas: the media’s legal obligations to publish within human rights jurisprudence; the regulation of illegal content; the laws interaction with fake news and other deceptive phenomena; and the regulation of investigatory reporting practices. In order to appreciate the current scholarly debate, one must first understand the development and transformation of the discipline over the last half century. This course will focus on both constitutional principles, in particular fundamental rights, and the challenges facing the media in today’s digital world.
The following topics will be covered:

  • What is a journalist? Technological challenges to old media business models (advertising, free/freemium/premium models)

  • Right to Free Expression vs Right to Privacy: competing rights in the digital world?

  • Data protection, media exceptions, and freedom of information

  • Illegal publications (Defamatory, Obscene, Hate & Inciting Violence)

  • Intermediary Liability and Platform Power

  • Fake News and other forms of Deceptive Content (deep fakes)

  • Access to government-held information (Freedom of Information)

There are ongoing discussions about arranging a visit to a significant legal institution/regulator within the Netherlands or the European Union so students will be able to discuss political and legal dilemmas with professionals from a relevant background.

Course Requirement

Master Degree

Assessment Method

  • Written Paper (50%)

  • Written Policy Report (50%)