Throughout the timeline there are several terms that should be defined to maximize reader comprehension.  We have compiled a list with definitions taken directly from the glossary of Stanley Baran’s textbook, Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture.

Actual Malice: “The standard for libel in coverage of public figures consisting of ‘knowledge of its falsity’ or ‘reckless disregard’ for whether or not it is true.” (G-1)

Copyright: “Identifying and granting ownership of a given piece of expression to protect the creators’ financial interest in it.” (G-2)

Indecency: “In broadcasting, language or material that depicts sexual or excretory activities in a way offensive to contemporary community standards.” (G-5)

Libel: “The false and malicious publication of material that damages a person’s reputation (typically applied to print media).” (G-5)

Obscenity: “Unprotected expression determined by (1) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (3) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” (G-6)

Prior Restraint: “Power of the government to prevent publication or broadcast of expression.” (G-7)

Slander: “Oral or spoken defamation of a person’s character (typically applied to broadcasting)” (G-8)

Baran, S. J. (2015). Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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