TVR 31200: Government & Media
Table of Contents
- Suggested Research Method
- 1. Background Information
- 2. Secondary Sources
- 3. Primary Sources
- Agencies, Congressional Committies, &Reports
- Contact Us
- Citation: Chicago/Bluebook Guide
- LexisNexis Help: Law searching
- THR Esq. (an entertainment law blog)
- Law: Other Guides
- Cathy's blog
- JD Supra: Com &Media law
- Benton Foundation
- B&C Washington
- Broadcasting & Cable (B&C)
- Subject Headings
- Advocacy Groups, Organizations & Think Tanks
- Browse Journals
Suggested Research Method
When doing Legal Research follow this path:
- Background Information: Read an overview, find definitions and key cases, and focus your topic
- Secondary Sources: Read book chapters and law review articles that cite case law and statutes/codes/regulations
- Primary Sources: Having identified case law and statutes/codes/regulations from your reading, use a law database (LexisNexis) or government information (ex. FDsys, the Federal Digital System -- formerly GPO Access) to access them.
1. Background Information
Your class texbook also serves as an introduction to key cases and areas of media law. The following resources are additional places to look for background:
- Advertising and public relations law
New York : Routledge, 2011.
- Black's Law Dictionary
Standard dictionary that provides basic definitions of legal jargon. 9th ed. This is the best law dictionary and is used by practitioners and scholars. Find it in the Reference section of the library (the back right corner beyond the Ref desk)
- CQ Researcher
Comprehensive reporting and analysis on current issues in the news. Each report includes an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Opposing Viewpoints in Context covers today’s hottest social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change. This database helps students research, analyze, and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments, preparing for debates, creating presentations and more.
- Legal Guide to Broadcast Law and Regulation
Is designed to give the broadcaster a more comprehensive analysis and understanding of the many rules, regulations, and laws that effect broadcasters in their day to day operations.
- LexisNexis Academic Go to "US Legal" in the left menu. Click on the "Legal Reference" link. Includes: Am Jur 2nd, Ballentine's Law Dictionary, Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession, & Martindale-Hubbell directories.
- Media and American Courts: a reference handbook
by S.L. Alexander. ABC-CLIO, 2004.
- New York Legal Research Guide
REF KFN5074 .G53 2013
4th ed, 2013. The basic information needed to understand legal practice in New York state.
- Oyez : U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia
User friendly website that contains biographies of Supreme Court justices, case decisions, and some audio transcripts of select cases.
- West's Encyclopedia of American Law, 2nd ed.
Is a reference devoted to the terms and concepts of U.S. law. It covers a wide variety of persons, entities, and events that have shaped the U.S. legal system.
2. Secondary Sources
Secondary law resources are books and articles that discuss cases and issues in the law.
a. Search the "Catalog" (on the library's homepage). I prefer the Advanced Search form.
b. Look at the "Subject Heading" section in to the right column of this guide. These link to subject headings in the library's catalog.
c. ebrary is a collection of fulltext ebooks available 24/7. The titles are in the library's catalog as [Electronic Resource] -- but if you go into the database you can search across the contents of the entire collection.
d. WorldCat via FirstSearch Use this to identify books IC Library does not own. Use the ILL request link to borrow the item for free (must login to the ILL server "ILLiad"). Books can take a week or two to arrive.
a. LexisNexis Academic Search US Legal > Law Review (left menu). Law review articles are lengthy scholarly examinations of specific points of law. Cases and codes are heavily cited in the footnotes. Sample search: atleast5(indecency) AND atleast5(television)
b. Communications Daily
Communications Daily is an authoritative source for telecom regulation, legislation and policy development news. Access it via LexisNexis Academic.
c. Communication Source . CMMC has scholarly and trade articles on all areas of communication including legal matters. It is a good place to find updates on law and policy trends written in plain language.
d. Academic Search Premier Another database that can provide updates in plain language (as opposed to legal jargon). ASP is a broad database that covers key journals and magazines.
e. Business Source Premier (Original Interface) BSP may be especially useful for advertising / commercial speech issues.
f. CQ Magazine
Weekly info on Congress: reports on upcoming issues, wrap up of news, status of bills, behind-the-scenes action, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes.
- THINK TANKS
a. see the list to the right, "Advocacy Groups, Organizations & Think Tanks"
Digital library of public policy research with more than 12,000 policy documents from about 220 think tanks and research groups.
C-SPAN The Communicators
PBS: Online NewsHour: Media
NPR: On the Media
3. Primary Sources
Cases, codes, and regulations can be considered Primary sources. You can usually access a free version of cases and codes through government resources such as Thomas or FDsys, or, through a subscription database such as LexisNexis Academic. LexisNexis has "added value" information such as annotations and is updated more frequently than government documents.
a. Congress.gov Bills by the U.S. Congress. Use the Search box for the current Congress. To see bills from prior Congresses, Click on "Current Legislation" drop-down and change to "All Legislation"
b. New York State Legislature: Bills and Laws Click on Search: NY Legislative Bills
c. Govtrack This a free non-governmental website that is useful for tracking the status of federal legislation.
a. LexisNexis Academic US Legal > Federal & State Cases. Use the "Jurisdiction" drop-down to choose all federal & state cases, Supreme Court cases, cases from one state, etc.
b.FCC Encyclopedia: FCC and the Courts, Recent Court Opinions 1996+ Fulltext of most cases that involved the FCC listed by year.
c.Media Law reporter (print) REF KF2750 A513 (1977 to present) Contains a topic index to find current case law in media law. Older cases are bound by year.
d. NARC Online Archives
Case reports of the National Advertising Division (NAD), Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). NOTE: See the reference desk; A reference librarian will sign you in to access the fulltext of the cases.
e.Digestible Law: Perkins Coie's Internet Case Digest Alerts of current cases. Fiind the fulltext in LexisNexis or the Media Law Reporter.
f. Google Scholar: Advanced Scholar Search: Legal opinions and journals. If the cases and codes you need are found here, this search works well with Zotero (downloading into a bibliographic manager).
a.LexisNexis Academic Search by Content Type > Federal Statutes and Regulations. Use "Select Source(s)" to choose the USCS (United States Code Service), the Constitution, Public Laws, the CFR or the Federal Register. I prefer to Browse the USCS or the Constitution.
Many student refer to the First Amendment: 1) in LexisNexis Academic; 2) research guide
b. FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System) > Featured Collections (upper right) > United States Code
T 15 ch. 36 Cigarette Labelling and Advertising
T 17 - Copyrights
T 47 - TV Radio
c. Thomas - Legislative Information To find a Public Law, choose the browse tab > Laws > Public Laws. Choose an earlier Congress for earlier laws. Example: P.L. 104-104 (104th bill of the 104th session of Congress)
d. United states code congressional and administrative news (USCCAN)
REF KF48 .U58
Contains public laws, legislative histories, executive messages and orders, administrative regulations, lists of committees, indexes & tables, for each session of Congress. Library has 1952+ (lacks 1961, 1963, 1965-66).
e. Documents of American broadcasting
KF2804 .D6 1984
Key documents including: The Wireless Ship Act of 1910; The Radio Act of 1912; The Radio Act of 1927; The Mayflower Doctrine (1941); The Fairness Doctrine (1949); The Red Lion case (1969); the Communication Act of 1934, etc.
f. A Legislative history of the Federal Communications Act of 1934
KF2762.113 .A15 1989
Oxford University Press, 1989. Edited by Max D. Paglin. Part One: Commentaries; Part Two: Documents (Senate and House Reports and Hearings). The Communications Act of 1934 is included on p. 921-966. There is an index.
g. New York Consolidated Laws Service (via LexisNexis) NY Statutes codified by topic.
h. New York State Legislature: Bills and Laws The Laws of New York are compiled by year.
i. E-Codes: Municipal Codes on the Internet (via General Code) NY Municipal codes such as the City of Ithaca
a.LexisNexis Academic Search by Subject or Topic > US Legal > Federal Statutes & Regulations. Select Sources: check the box for the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or Federal Register (FR)
b.Federal Register via FDsys The Federal Register updates the CFR
c.Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
T 16 Commercial Practices (FTC)
T 47 Telecommunications (FCC)
Government website for finding regulations issued by U.S. government agencies.
e. Federal Communication Commission decisions. March 1939+ Searchable through LexisNexis. Includes: Decisions, reports, news, statements, notices and other documents.
f. FCC Record
"The FCC Record is a comprehensive compilation of decisions, reports, public notices, and other documents of the Federal Communications Commission from 1986 to the present." from the UNT Digital Library.
g. New York Codes, Rules and Regulations and New York Register (via LexisNexis) contains the administrative agency regulations for New York
- HEARINGS, SPEECHES, BRIEFINGS, & REPORTS
a. FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System)
The Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides public access to government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies. Search or browse for documents and publications. Use the Advance Search form to search by date or specific publication title (Congressional Record, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, Bills, Hearings, the United States Code, etc.). Fulltext primary source documents are available in both PDF (downloadable) and XML formats.
b. Federal News Service
LexisNexis file containing: White House briefings and Presidential statements. Includes some Congressional hearings, National Press Club Speeches and conferences when they address major topics of current interest.
c. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
The GAO investigates and reports on the use of government funds for Congress. Full text copies of the reports are available by searching the site.
d. Ex. The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape February 21, 2012 - RL32589
e. Compilation of Presidential Documents
The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents are the official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary.
Agencies, Congressional Committies, &Reports
Executive Branch Agencies:
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- FDA (Bad Ad Program)
- Federal Trade Commission : Rules Labeling, Commercial Law
- National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center
- TTB.gov alchohol advertising
- U. S. Copyright Office
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
Bureau of the US Dept. of Commerce that advises the president on telecommunications policies.
- US House Judiciary Intellectual property & the internet
- US House: Energy & Commerce (E&C) subcommittee: Communications & Technology
- US Senate: Commerce subcommittee: Communications, Technology, Innovation & the Internet
- Government Accountability Office (GAO)
The GAO investigates and reports on the use of government funds for Congress. Full text copies of the reports are available by searching the site. Researches how Congress is spending on programs.
- CRS Archives - Federation of American Scientists
Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides background reports to Congress yet they were not distributed to government document collections. Citizens had to write their Congressional representatives to obtain copies. The CRS Archives of the Federation of American Scientists site has indexed and posted copies of these valuable documents.
Citation: Chicago/Bluebook Guide
I've attached a 2 page guide to some common legal formats:
Chicago / Bluebook Citation Guide
See also at the Reference Desk: getting started videos for Zotero.
Chicago / Bluebook Citation Guide
See also at the Reference Desk: getting started videos for Zotero.
- Zotero (works with Firefox and is accessible from the computer you downloaded the software to)
LexisNexis Help: Law searching
LexisNexis maintains a wiki of help screens to their product. There is a page on Researching Entertainment Law.
Specific pages of interest include:
Specific pages of interest include:
THR Esq. (an entertainment law blog)
Law: Other Guides
- Digital Media Law This guide explores some specific aspects of digital media law.
- Employment Law Guide: I include some ways to directly search case law on this guide.
- US Code: Popular Names (Cornell Law) Look up laws by their popular name; this index provides the Public Law number and section of the USC and Statutes at Large)
- Session Dates of Congress (chart of Congressional sessions by start and end dates)
- IC Library Videos concerning Law & the Legal system
Broadcasting & Cable (B&C)
Click on one of the subject headings to display all the books in the IC Library that contain that particular subject. The number in the list is the number of books and videos that have that heading. Click on the number to see a list of the particular titles.
- Broadcasting Law and legislation
- Confidential communications--Press--United States.
- Constitutional Law--United States
- Copyright United States
- Fair use (Copyright)
- Freedom of information--United States
- Freedom of speech--United States
- Government and the press--United States.
- Hate speech United States
- Internet Law and legislation United States
- Internet pornography
- Libel and slander
- Mass media Law and legislation United States
- Motion pictures Law and legislation United States
- Obscenity (Law) United States
- Public records Law and legislation United States
- Radio Law and legislation United States
- Television Law and legislation United States
- United States. Constitution.
- United States. Federal Communication Commission
- United States. Supreme Court.
Advocacy Groups, Organizations & Think Tanks
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Benton Foundation
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- Center for the Study of the Public Domain
- Center for Copyright Information
- Creative Commons
- Digital Media Law Project
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
- First Amendment Center
- Freedom House
- Hear Us Now: Consumer voice for communications choice
- International Anticounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
- Media Law Resource Center (MLRC)
- Project Censored
- Public Knowledge (PK)
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
- Tech Policy Summit