Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Media Law

Media Law
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

To be arranged with faculty.


The subject aims to introduce students to the legal framework in which the journalistic profession operates. Thus it has become an approach that integrates the essential theoretical aspects of daily practice domain in which the reporter is immersed today.

Pre-course requirements

No pre-course requirements are needed to enrol in this subject.


  1. Knowledge: to recognise the Constitution as supreme law, as well as the identification of the powers of the state and its legal production, the system of rights and freedoms and the structure of Spain as Estado de las Autonomías.
  2. Skills: distinction of institutions and constitutional principles.
  3. Attitudes: start a humanistic approach to the text of the Constitution, especially in regard to the higher values of the legal system: freedom, equality, justice and political pluralism.


  • 02 CG - The ability to learn and act an autonomously and responsibly
  • 04 CG - The ability to organise time and workspace
  • 06 CG - The ability to read, analyze and synthesize
  • 08 CG - The ability to reflect and memorize.
  • 10 CG - Knowledge and mastery of bibliographic repertoires
  • 11 CG - Knowledge and mastery of different research resources
  • 16 CE - The ability to make judgments and well-argued critical assessments
  • 18 CE - Ability to detect newsworthy events
  • 26 CE - The ability to understand and apply the legal dimension of a journalistic product

Learning outcomes

The student will recognise the legal position of citizens in the rule of law and will be familiar with the professional references of a court reporter.


  1. Will learn basic knowledge of economics, law geography and history in order to be able to understand some of the major problems of modern society.
  2. They will internalize a complex vision of contemporary societies.
  3. They will understand how to spot trends.
  4. They will be able to analyze society and forge a critical and independent spirit.
  5. They will develop abilities to perform better during teamwork and create positive synergies.
  6. They will get detailed knowledge about the origins of mankind and its organization, culture, religion and privacy.


Theoretical part

  • Theme 1. Introduction to the theory of the state: 1. Basic elements of the state. 2. The Constitution of 1978. 3. The structure of the Spanish Constitution.
  • Theme 2. The Constitution and its guarantees: 1. Constitutional jurisdiction. 2. The constitutional reform. 3. The law for exceptional situations.
  • Theme 3. The state functions: 1. The legislative function: types of rules and supremacy of the Constitution. 2. The goverment function. 3. The function of the courts.
  • Theme 4. The control of powers: 1. The Montesquieu approach . 2. The Spanish Constitution approach: a) Political control, b) The legal control.
  • Theme 5. Fundamental Rights in the field of Advertising and Communication: 1. Freedom of information and expression. 2. The right to honor. 3. The right to personal and family privacy. 4. The right to self-image. 5. Free enterprise and consumer rights.
  • Theme 6. Freedom of information: 1. Introduction. 2. Freedom of expression and freedom of information. 3. Investigate, disseminate and receive information . 5. Freedom in the right to information. 5. The constitutional requirement for the accuracy of the information.
  • Theme 7. The right to information and the right to honor. The clause of conscience and professional secrecy: 1. The criteria of the Constitutional Court . 2. Criminal responsibility in the field of honor. 3. The conscience clause. 4. Professional secrecy.

Practical part

The student-journalist must develop all stages involved in developing a story, from contact with the sources to the writing of the information. The thematic blocks are not linear, but this will be dealt with in classes according to the needs of each new practice.

  • Theme 1. Journalistic language: clarity, conciseness and accuracy. The style and voice of the journalist. Key narratives. Approaches (relevant and irrelevant) to the literary language. The speed and rigor.
  • Theme 2. Contact with sources. Contrasting sources of information. Justice actors and their role as sources: the lawyer, the judge, the prosecutor. Information resources.
  • Theme 3. Journalistic genres: more information, more interpretation. The news, the Chronicle, the story, the research article.
  • Theme 4. The various stages of the criminal process and the journalistic journey. The preliminary investigation and hearing.
  • Theme 5. The right to information and its relations with other fundamental rights. The institutions duty to give information. Requirements and limitations of the journalist. The press offices: barrier or resource?
  • Theme 6. Facts about chronic courts. Information routines and their influence on product quality. The primacy of the courts information. The treatment in the tabloids and on digital platforms.

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Through various training activities (oral presentations, text analysis, synthesis of content posted on the lectures) it is intended that the student is able to gain critical thinking, autonomy in the development of work in addition to knowledge presented in each one of the thematic units of the course. 

Lectures. In lectures, lecturers/professors not only transmit content or knowledge, but also, and above all else, attitudes, motivation, skills and values, etc. They also ensure that participants can express their opinions and arguments to the other students.
Focused Praxis. Handing in occasional exercises to learn theory through practice.
Seminar. This activity will consist of taking an in-depth look at specific up-to-date topics in a monographic manner-in some cases these topics will have been debated socially-, via active work in small groups.
Lab. Working groups that combine theory and practice. The aim of these is not to undertake already known techniques, but instead to make progress that is both theoretical and technical. These Lab sessions will culminate in the creation of a professional or semi-professional product.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The subject consists of a theoretical part and a practical one, and each represents 50 % of the final grade for the subject.

The theoretical part will be assessed through practical exercises, a midterm exam and final exam. Practical exercises and the midterm exam represent 40 % of the final grade for the theoretical part. The final exam accounts for 60 % of the final grade for the theoretical part.

The practical part is measured by different information and the exercises. 60 % of the grade is obtained from a total of seven pieces of information (news, reports, interviews); 30% of the grade os obtained from a final exam; and the remaining 10% of other minor exercises (current test, reviews articles, etc.), as well as active participation in the development of the classes. The evolution of the role of student knowledge acquired is particularly encouraged.

Students who have not obtained a minimum of 5 in each of the two parts of the subject must present themselves at the second call. The second call exam will deal with the total of the subject. Thus, if a student has failed one part and passed the other, they will have to take the exams corresponding to both parts of the subject.

For the third and successive calls, it will not be obligatory for the students to attend the class and follow the continuous evaluation and, therefore, they can be evaluated only with the final examinations of the theoretical part and the practical part of the subject.

Bibliography and resources

In the class lectures, mandatory or suggested readings will be offered. Basic bibliography:

ALANDETE, David. Fake news: la nueva arma de destrucción masiva. Ed. Deusto. 2019.

ALVAREZ CONDE, Enrique. Curso de Derecho Constitucional, 2 vols. Ed. Tecnos (6 ª edición), 2008.

AZURMENDI, Ana. Derecho de la información: guía jurídica para profesionales de la comunicación. Eunsa, 2001.

AZURMENDI, Ana. Derecho de la Comunicación. Guía jurídica para profesionales de los Medios. Eunsa, 2016.

BALAGUER CALLEJÓN, Francisco (coord.). Manual de derecho constitucional. 2 vols. Ed. Tecnos. 14ª Ed.  2019.

BALAGUER CALLEJÓN, María Luisa. Derecho de la información y de la comunicación. Ed. Tecnos. 2016. 

BARCELO, M., Vintró, J. (coords.). Derecho Público de Cataluña. Atelier, 2011.

ESCOBAR DE LA SERNA, Luis. Derecho de la Información. Dykinson, 2004.

MOLAS, Isidre. Derecho Constitucional. Tecnos, 2009.

ORTEGA GUTIERREZ, David. Manual de Derecho de la Información. Editorial Universitaria Ramón Areces, 2003.

SANJURJO REBOLLO, Beatriz. Manual de Derecho de la Información. Una perspectiva legal para un mundo cada día más mediático. Dykinson (2009).

URIAS, Joaquín. Principios de derecho de la información.  Ed. Tecnos. 3ª Ed. 2014.  

VV.AA. Santiago MUÑOZ MACHADO (ed.). Comentario mínimo de la Constitución Española. Ed. Crítica. 1ª Ed. 2018.