J 2.0

Featured School Papers:

Know Your J-Jargon

framework: A software package that makes writing programs easier by providing all the “plumbing” for a particular type of task (like writing a web app), allowing programmers to just “fill in the blanks” with their own project-specific needs. For instance, Web development frameworks like Ruby on Rails (written in Ruby) and Django (written in Python), have built-in support for common web development tasks, such as reading and writing to a database, writing content in html, and so forth. Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary.

Learn more J-Jargon »

10 Tips to Limit Legal Risk on the Web

  1. Check your facts. In the blogosphere and beyond, many lawsuits concern injury to reputation, or defamation. Written defamation is called libel. Spoken defamation is called slander. Extra care with facts can reduce your legal risk.
  2. Avoid virtual vendettas. If you have it out for someone or something, be it an ex-boyfriend, ex-supervisor or a rival, using the Web to attack, harass or humiliate may land you in court.
  3. Obey the law. Even if you are working on a blockbuster story, you are not above the law.
  4. Weigh promises. Promises you make can limit what you publish and can put you at legal risk. Think twice before committing – whether it’s formal or informally made.
  5. Reveal secrets selectively. Secrets lead to legal headaches for all kinds of media.
  6. Consider what you copy. Copyright and trademark infringement claims are coming up related with blogging, social network use and other Internet activities. Sometimes these are to bully Internet users into taking off content they are entitled to post. But there could be legitimate intellectual property concerns.
  7. Learn recording limits. When it comes to rights and risks related to taping, recording and photographing, here’s the breakdown for citizen journalists.
  8. Don’t abuse anonymity. The First Amendment and the courts protect anonymous speech to foster broad discussion. The anonymous pamphleteers set the precedent for the notion that in a free society, government must be accountable to the people.
  9. Shun conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest, such as personal, political or financial relationships with subjects of news coverage, can cause legal trouble for citizen journalists. Legal risks aside, a real or apparent conflict of interest raises ethical concerns.
  10. Seek legal advice. Newspapers, magazines and broadcast networks typically have their own lawyers, but student media organziations generally don’t. Hsj.org and My.hsj.org recommend the Student Press Law Center: http://www.splc.org/

Adapted from the Knight Citizen News Network: http://www.kcnn.org/legal_risk