What's News?

Critical Analysis of Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2019

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-06

13 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2020 Last revised: 13 Feb 2020

See all articles by Michael J. Madison

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: February 11, 2020

Abstract

This review of Will Slauter’s Who Owns the News? (2019) highlights three ways in which its history of copyright in news tracks and illustrates key themes in the history of cultural policy. One is how copyright law and journalistic style co-evolved, confirming the attributes of modern journalism itself and deploying style as a device for defining the scope of news producers’ legitimate copyright claims. In the news, as elsewhere in copyright, exclusivity and genre largely co-created each other. Two is how the labor and skill of individual human producers of knowledge are often hidden amid prominent debates about relationships between the circulation of knowledge and financial investments in systems of knowledge production. Reporters and photographers, as modern human creators of the news, are often missing from this history. Three is how the history of copyright in news is told largely with reference to organization of producers, distributors, readers, and users in collective settings. Copyright and cultural policy often develop and are best understood in terms of the roles of formal and informal groups.

Keywords: news, journalism, copyright, genre, creative production, groups, collectives, Slauter

Suggested Citation

Madison, Michael J., What's News? (February 11, 2020). Critical Analysis of Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2019; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3536528

Michael J. Madison (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

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