LEGAL JOURNALISM

DURATION: 2 months (8 contact hours)

SCHEDULE: Flexible, convenient time slots, week-ends

ELIGIBILITY: Students, journalists and working professionals, and anyone interested in law reporting, using legal provisions in reports/reporting, Legal Journalism or social, development impact of legal issues

AGE LIMIT: 21 years onwards (college-level)

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is compulsory at all face to face sessions

COURSE FEES: INR 5,000 (+ 18% GST) payable online at the time of application

BATCH STRENGTH: Minimum: 10, Maximum: 25 (Flexible, on-demand)

COURSE ANCHOR: Leah Verghese, Research Manager, DAKSH, an Indian research organisation working on judicial reform and access to justice. Leah is a Fulbright Fellow and a graduate of the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
Leah is experienced in political and legal communication and has worked on high profile political campaigns.
Leah writes extensively on criminal justice reform and immigration issues in India, specifically the National Registry of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

COURSE DIRECTORS: Senior lawyers and legal correspondents

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Improve your understanding of the justice system and your ability to write about it

COURSE DELIVERY:

  • Completely Online
  • Face-to-face interactions with course director(s)
  • Reading and understanding reports, whitepapers, books, essays, articles suggested by course director(s)
  • Watching documentaries, course-related videos suggested, and analyzing/discussing content with course directors
  • Case Study analysis
  • Working on assignments for assessment after every session
  • Presenting final project/independent assignment based on real-time investigation to evaluation panel, and defend ideas/strategy/thoughts

COURSE STRUCTURE:

The course will explore these four modules.

Introduction to the Legal System
This module will begin with a discussion about the drafting of the Indian Constitution and its essential provisions. We will then familiarise participants with the sources of law and the structure of the justice system. Participants will learn what the rule of law is and will understand basic legal terminology and how cases progress through the justice system, from the incident that led to the legal action to trial and appellate procedures.

Media Coverage of Law and Justice System
This module will begin with a discussion of what students know about the justice system. How much of their knowledge is based on popular culture portrayals or books? We will discuss how the media (print, TV and electronic) covers legal developments, police investigations and court cases.

Reporting on Law Enforcement Agencies
In this module, participants will explore the craft of reporting on law enforcement agencies. We will discuss the challenges of ensuring fairness, how to avoid sensationalism and ethical issues in such reporting. Participants will learn who or what would make good sources, how to ask questions to stakeholders and how to avoid reporting that leads to trials by the media.

Reporting on Courts
We will discuss guidelines issued by various courts on such reporting accreditation of reporters for certain kinds of court reporting. Most media coverage of the court cases is episodic. This module will introduce students to writing enterprise stories on courts cases and legal issues. Such stories help readers and viewers understand the often complex issues implicated or highlighted by the episodic stories. We will also discuss the issues in live-tweeting from courtrooms.

CERTIFICATION: Commits-Daksh-Marga Certification will be delivered on email after the course is completed satisfactorily.