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This section contains teaching modules being developed as part of the MPL Project. These modules explore specific aspects of media law and media policy, and are conducted in both Instruction and Workshop modes. The modules on media law, developed by ALF, address Defamation, Obscenity, Sedition and Hate Speech and are directed at students in both media law and media studies. The modules approach media law from multiple perspectives, consolidating colonial history, legal doctrine and cultural studies. They are based on courses conducted in the M.S. programme in Communication Studies at St. Joseph's College, Bangalore and the MA programme in Media Governance at CCMG. The two modules on "Document Analysis" and "Policy Analysis", developed by CCMG, are based on workshops conducted in its MA programme in 'Media Governance'. Focusing on techniques in policy studies, these workshop modules are located respectively in the courses on "Policy Research & Evaluation" (III Semester) and on "regulation in Theory and Practice" (IV Semester).


1)   Defamation :

i)    Course Design

Defamation law is guided to a large extent by the core struggle between the right to reputation on one hand, and free expression on the other. The module begins by unpacking multiple understandings of reputation, launching into a history of defamation law, and the elements and defences against charges of defamation. The module goes on to examine how Defamation is used as a tool against free expression before looking into the productive aspects of defamation. The final division throws up the question of what an ideal law of defamation would look like.

a)      File:  Defamation Module Final Draft.pdf

ii)      Cases and Documents:

a)      Indian_Express_Newspapers_..._vs_Jagmohan_Mundhara_And_Anr._on_12_October-_1984.pdf

b)       Dignity - Sonakka v. Murthy.pdf

c)       Property - R.Krishnamurthy_vs_Sun_Tv_Network_Limited_.pdf



a)      International and Contemporary Defamation Standards

b)      Robert Post, The Social Foundations of Defamation Law: Reputation and the Constitution

c)      S.P. Sathe, Defamation and Public Advocacy

d)      Kamayani Bali Mahabal, A Cheeky Videogame by Greenpeace but Corporate Giant TATA is not amused

e)      Subramaniam Swamy, Defamation Litigation: A Survivor’s Toolkit, The Hindu

f)       Gordon Rayner, How Libel Tourism became an embarrassment to Britain’s reputation, The Telegraph

g)      T.R. Vivek, Bite in the Blog Bark, Outlook

h)      The Trial of Oscar Wilde

i)       What's in a Name?, The Economic Times

Student Output

2)      Obscenity:

i)        Course Design: Obscenity Module Draft 6.pdf

ii)      Cases and Documents:

iii)     Readings:

iv)     Student Output: Anindita Biswas, Assignment on Obscenity - IInd Semester, M.S. in Communication Studies, St. Joseph's College

Document Analysis:

i)       Module Design: This semester-long workshop is conducted in the last module of the paper "Policy Research & Evaluation" (III Semester). The workshop forms the primary stage of learning to analyse processes of policy formulation and analysis. It introduces a structured way to decipher government documents, including Reports of Committees and Inquiry Commissions on various aspects of the media. Students learn to identify key actors in the concerned media sector, critically reflect on qualitative and quantitative evidence provided and unravel arguments on policy options. Students work in groups of 2 on documents assigned to them; the academic and evaluative framework of this module may be found here.

a)      Course Design Document Analysis.pdf

ii)      Documents:

a)      Report of the Working Group on Autonomy for Akashvani and Doordarshan, 1978

b)      Report of the Enquiry Committee on Small Newspapers, 1965 - Part II

c)      Report of the Enquiry Committee on Small Newspapers, 1965 - Part I

Student Output:

a)      Enquiry Committee on Small Scale Newspapers, 1965 –Shilpa Narani/Suvojit Bandopadhyaya - Semester 3 (Batch 2010 - 2012) 

b)      Report of the Working Group on Autonomy for Akashvani and Doordarshan, 1978 – Merlin Oommen /Neeti Duaneria - Semester 3 (Batch 2010 - 2012)


a)      Miller, Hugh T. and Demir, Tansu, 2007, ‘Policy Communities’, in Frank Fischer, Gerald j. Miller and Mara S. Sidney, (ed.), Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics and  Methods, No. 3, Cheltenham

b)      van Eeten, Michel M.J., 2007, ‘Narrative Policy Analysis’, in Frank Fischer, Gerald j. Miller and Mara S. Sidney, (ed.), Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics and  Methods, No. 3, Cheltenham

c)      Shore,Chris and Wright,Susan (ed.), 1997, Anthropology of Policy, Routledge, London and New Delhi.      

d)      Das, Biswajit and Parthasarathy, Vibodh, 2011, ‘Media Research and Public Policy: Tiding over Rupture, in, Robin Mansell and Marc Raboy, (ed.),  The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Policy Analysis:

i)       Module Design: This semester-long workshop is conducted in the last module of the paper Regulation in Theory in Practice (Semester IV) and builds on the students’ familiarity with policy arrangements in various media sectors, post 1991. It delves deeper into concerns of access, equity and public good which stand central as much to debates on governance as to approaches to policy analysis. In doing so, it is recognised that unravelling successive policy arrangements requires drawing on multiple sources, and not just reading into explicit “Policy” announcements. This module is taught in a workshop format. Students work in a cluster of seven, each tackling a specific sector assigned to them. The academic and evaluative framework for this module may be found here.


ii)      Documents:

a)      Broadband Policy 2004

b)      Recommendations on National Broadband Plan 2010

c)      National Telecom Policy, 1994

 d)      New Telecom Policy, 1999

Student Output:

a)      Broadband Policy (Group assignment, Semester 4 - Batch 2010-2012)


a)      Policy Analysis:  van Cuilenburg, J & McQuail, D (2003) ‘Media Policy Paradigm Shifts: Towards a New Communications Policy Paradigm’, European Journal of Communication Vol. 18/2 June (pp.181-207)

b)      Freedman, D. (2010) ‘Media Policy Silences: The Hidden Face of Communications Decision Making’;The International Journal of Press/Politics Vol. 15/3 (pp.344-361)

c)      Telecom Policy: Petrazzini, B. A. (1996) ‘Telecommunications policy in India: the political underpinnings of reform’;Telecommunications Policy Vol. 20/1 (pp. 39-51)

d)      Thomas, P. (2007) ‘Telecom musings: public service issues in India’, info Vol. 9/2-3 (pp.97–107)

e)      Broadband Policy: Chaudhuri. A. (2010) ‘Broadband Policy: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?’;Economic and Political Weekly Vol XLV/38 (pp. 36-43)

f)       Wolcott, P. (2005) ‘The Provision of Internet Services in India’, in Davison, R.M. et al (Ed.) Information Systems in Developing Countries: Theory and Practice, University of Hong Kong Press, Hong Kong

Hate Speech:

i)       Course Design: hate speech PDF.pdf


i)       Course Design: Sedition and the Media draft 3.pdf

Other Resources

1)      Case List

i)       Obscenity: Table on Obscenity Cases.docx

ii)      Defamation: Defamation Case List.docx

2)      Documents

Research Output

i)       Biswajit Das and Vibodh Parthasarathi, Media Research and Public Policy: Tiding over the Rupture in The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy, Edited by Robin Mansell and Marc Raboy Tiding Over the Rupture_in Mansell - Raboy.pdf

ii)      Siddharth Narrain, "Disaffection" and the Law: The Chilling Effect of Sedition Laws in India, Economic and Political Weekly, February 19, 2011 : epw_sedition.pdf