Media Law Matters is a website that helps both journalism students and their tutor. It provides succinct briefings on key topics and a searchable database of case studies; but it also acts as a source of illustrations for lectures, and inspiration for class activities and test questions. The WordPress-based site was initially created as a collection of case studies to enable the tutor to update and refresh his own knowledge. Concise briefings on key topics such as defamation and contempt of court were added to address a shortage of the standard textbooks. These briefings made it possible to refine the information given to students and make topics more accessible, especially for students from countries with different legal cultures. Law test questions are derived almost entirely from the briefings, which enables students to focus the rote aspect of their learning. Case studies on the site – searchable by topic – help students develop their understanding of how the law is interpreted and applied, and provide the basis for scenario-based test questions. The briefings can be used in place of conventional slides in a lecture; they may be more effective as a revision tool than lecture slides written only in note form. The site also links to external resources, such as ethical codes. Feedback in module evaluation surveys has been positive, and the site has been praised by the MA Journalism external examiner. Test performance has generally been strong among first-year undergraduates and module evaluation scores have risen. The site is at www.m42mc.wordpress.com

Coventry University