Communications Law & Policy

Welcome to Communication Law and Policy
[CJ 395/Course/C2; COM 360]

Primary Class Outline and Syllabus on Course Moodle Page

Online Virtual Classroom via Zoom @ 1:00 - 1:50 pm Mon/Wed/Fri

Instructor: Shawn T. Newman, J.D.

Course Description: Social and legal questions over communication resources, rights and responsibilities. Examination of law and policy with respect to social communication practices, such as the First Amendment, media ownership and intellectual property rights.

Course Requirements & Resources:

  • Required Book: Susan Ross, Amy Reynolds and Robert Trager The Law of Journalism and Mass Communications, 7th Ed. Sage © 2020 ISBN 9781544377582

  • Open Education Resources referenced in the weekly modules.

  • Optional: Newman Media - You Tube Channel; TVW and Supreme Court appearances

Course Objectives - See weekly objectives below


5 Essay Exams @ 100/each (Grading Rubric below)

500 Debates/Presentations (Grading Rubric below)

100 Active attendance and participation

100 Total Points:


Teaching Philosophy: My job is to help you develop legal knowledge and skills that will make you successful in YOUR career. This class focuses on Constitutional literacy. It is your responsibility to be prepared for class and to complete all assignments on time. I have listed reading assignments, exams and presentations/debates for each week below. Please note that I reserve the option to modify the schedule and frequently add content to the syllabus based on current events. Classes are conducted based on the assumption that students have PRE-READ the material for that day's class; all material is subject to class discussion.

Office Hours: I am available before/after class, by appointment at my office which is located in OM Room 413 or via email at I try to respond to emails within 24 hours. Note these etiquette tips for emailing your professor and submitting materials.

Academic Policy: SMU Academic Policies and Procedures regarding academic dishonesty can be found in the undergraduate student catalog. I do not give mulligans (re-dos/extra credit) or incomplete(s). Absences, regardless of reason, are recorded as absences.

Need Help?

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  • Information on student support offices, including academic support, counseling, health, diversity and disability support services can be found in the undergraduate student catalog. Students are responsible for working with disability services to provide me notice of any necessary accommodations.

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  • Are you career ready? Contact SMU's Career Center for help on resumes, CVs, cards, etc.