The UK Media Law pocketbook by Tim Crook


by Tim Crook

Published by Routledge March 2013


Explains the mission of the book in being a print, ebook, and multimedia nexus. UK media law is explained in terms of primary (legislation and case law) and secondary (regulation and self-regulation in terms of Ofcom, BBC Editorial Guidelines and independent press regulation after the Leveson Inquiry report and replacing the Press Complaints Commission) Recommendations for more detailed follow-up in terms of bibliography. Explaining the legalised nature of professional media research, information gathering and publication, and the consequences of making mistakes in terms of criminal prosecution, civil litigation, disciplinary action by employers, regulatory reprimand, fines, suspension and cancellation of broadcasting licences. The introduction explains the transition position of the new Defamation Bill becoming an Act of Parliament between 2012-13 and the likely shape of new independent regulation of the print media with powers to fine up to £1 million, order prominent corrections and apologies for breaching a constantly evolving code of ethics.


A downloadable sound file of the introduction that seeks to explain the purpose and mission of the book:




Chapter 1 - Media contempt and reporting crime

Chapter 2 - Guide to Court Reporting- Key facts and check-list

Chapter 3 - Libel, Privacy, Accuracy and Balance

Chapter 4 - News Gathering, Story Finding and Public Interest

Chapter 5 - Protecting Children

Chapter 6 - Copyright and Intellectual Property

Chapter 7 - Laws and rules for elections and politics

Chapter 8 - The Secret World

Chapter 9 - Scottish and Northern Irish differences and issues


So you want to publish in the UK media? But what about the law? Some bracing things to think about.

Guide to using Freedom of Information Act

Page containing all Stop Press and Additions for the book and companion website



Stop Press and Additions

Excellent new e-book by Cleland Thom on Internet law (Recommended)

UK Channel Four Producers online Handbook - media law and broadcasting compliance (Recommended)

Number of journalists employed in UK

On page 4 of Introduction, I gave as a vague estimate the number of journalists employed in the UK as being around 40,000. The NCTJ Journalists at Work Survey 2012, published on March 25th argues that there are around 60,000 journalists employed in different ways. (see page 19)
A further source would be The Labour Force Survey 2012 produced by the Office of National Statistics.

In a speadsheet for the quarter April to June 2012 the survey under the employment heading at '201 2471 Journalist, newspaper and periodical editors' a figure of employment at 65,000 is given which is divided across the categories of full-time, part-time and self-employed.

A separate heading at '260 3416' gives an additional heading for 'Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators' and an overall employment figure of 76,000 which would presumably involve people seen as operating as 'journalists.'


Tim Crook profile

Professor Tim Crook
PGCert Laws, LLB, BA Hum, BA Open,
Dip Lit, Dip Eur Hum, Cert Rad Journ,
Head of Radio Goldsmiths, University of London.
Senior Lecturer Media Law & Ethics
Visiting Professor of Broadcast Journalism, Faculty of Performance, Media & English, Birmingham City University (Appointed January 2013)

Author of: International Radio Journalism, Radio Drama, Comparative Media Law & Ethics, The Secret Lives of a Secret Agent, The Sound Handbook and UK Media Law Pocketbook

Professor Crook is a regular contributor to academic conferences and journals on the subject of media law and ethics. In October 2012 he made the following filmed presentation to the annual conference of the Institute of Communications Ethics at the Front Line Club on the subject of 'After Leveson.'



Copyright and Warning Disclaimer

The content of this companion website only amounts to educational material and does not constitute legal advice to any general, specific or particular situation. Nor does reading anything on this site constitute any form of legal contract for legal service between the author and reader. Should you be facing any legal action for media publication, you should seek immediate qualified legal advice in your relevant legal jurisdiction. The content is copyright/Intellectual Property protected. The author grants a limited and restricted licence to digitally download, copy, print and quote to any extent for the purposes of education and media/journalism training only and provided that the educational institution, or private individual has purchased a copy of the printed or electronic version of the book UK Media Law Pocketbook, first published by Routledge in March 2013. Any quotation or use of the material for any purpose from this site needs to be academically attributed and acknowledged. The media law of the United Kingdom is a constantly changing and moving phenomenon. The author provides no guarantee that the site's content is immediately up to date with changes and developments, though he tries to achieve this as soon as possible. The author bears no responsibility whatsoever for the content of Internet websites linked anywhere on these pages. Please bear in mind that the producers of linked web hostings are often changing or deleting URLs that can result in broken or out of date links.


Below: London and UK Media Law images - copyright Tim Crook