Media and Journalism

Media

experience

How law 

and media

interact

Rory has written for many major publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Irish Times, The Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, Newsday and many others.
He mostly writes about law, politics and economics. However, he has also written about technology, music, travel and social affairs. He has worked on major investigative stories of international interest.
In the course of his work, Rory has interviewed well-known politicians, journalists, scientists, musicians and thinkers. The people he has interviewed include the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, singer Sinead O'Connor and Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who walked on the moon.
His work has been referenced by the BBC, CNN, The Week, The Los Angeles Times, amongst many others. It has been recommended by the New York Times. He has appeared on various radio and television outlets, including the BBC, Al Jazeera and RTE.
Rory worked as a contributing editor with NewsWhip.com, gaining significant digital media experience. He also blogged on The Huffington Post.
Law remains Rory's primary professional field. However, believes that his media experience helps him advise clients more holistically. Working in the media has also honed his communication skills. Conversely, his legal knowledge has enhanced his media work.

 

Law and media are dynamic, inter-related fields. The law can provoke news stories. News stories can provoke new laws. 

 

Law and journalism are mutually re-inforcing skill sets. Both involve analysing and accurately communicating complex sets of facts. Both require you to take account of competing opinions and evidence. Both ultimately involve effective communication.

The law and the media interact in complex and interesting ways. Legislation is essentially the codification of a consensus of public opinion, as drafted by legislators. However, a new law often comes about due to the influence of the media upon public opinion.

 

The public selects its legislators through elections. In this way, public opinion influences law through the democratic process. However, the media - including social media - is the strongest influencer of public opinion. Therefore, the media can be understood as the ultimate originator of many new laws.

 

Conversely, an important court decision, or new statute, can have a large impact within the media. A new law can be a big story. Legislators themselves notoriously court the media to garner support for their proposed laws. Nowadays, we increasingly see this dynamic played out through social media.

The law directly affects the media's operations. It can restrain the media, on one hand, but it can give it access to information on the other. Laws relating to privacy, data protection and defamation constrain what the media publishes. However, freedom of information laws can provide journalists with access to mines of information.

For lawyers, client confidentiality is paramount, and sacrosanct. Yet with their client's consent, lawyers can help communicate to the media a complex judicial decision, or new piece of legislation. Large companies, charities and industry bodies routinely lobby lawmakers to make regulatory changes. A key part of their lobbying strategy will play out in the media. In this way too, the media is a device that creates new laws.

Recent international political events have shown that skilful manipulation of the media, and social media, can alter the outcome of elections and referenda. The mechanism being used to resist such manipulation is the law: both the existing criminal law, and new laws proposed to regulate social media companies, lobbyists and political campaigns. 

As humanity moves online, the key conflicts of the early 21st century are playing out in a brand new arena. The process of regulating it is only beginning. For lawyers and media organisations alike, a deep understanding of the complex interactions of law, media and social media is now crucial.

Other media 

projects

  • Rory is also currently completing a short book on the cultural impact of the First World War.

  • He resurrected the prominent historic publication, The Freeman's Journal, online in 2010. He later sold it to investors.

  • Rory has worked as a speech writer for public figures and has edited and ghost written books.

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© 2018 Rory Fitzgerald