Law & First Amendment

ASNE lessons created for use with the Law & First Amendment Training Module

Day 1
Law and First Amendment Lesson – Day One

Day 2
Law and First Amendment Lesson – Day Two

Other lessons from ASNE

First Amendment

  • December 15 – Celebrate the Birthday of the First Amendment
    This lesson plan helps students determine what rights are protected under the First Amendment by encouraging them to ask themselves: how are First Amendment rights relevant today? How are First Amendment rights relevant to me?
  • Exploring the First Amendment
    A two-day plan that looks at the guarantees the First Amendment affords, then asks students to find examples of those guarantees in action.
  • Exploring the First Amendment as it Has Been Applied to Teens and Teen Journalists
    This lesson will gives students the opportunity to learn more about the rights and responsibilities provided by the First Amendment through exploring how teens have successfully and unsuccessfully used it to defend their actions.
  • First Amendment Fridays
    A unit focusing on the First Amendment and its five freedoms. It asks students to explore the freedoms, ask others about them, and see how the First Amendment applies to everyone — even them. A great opportunity to bring outside speakers into class.


  • Media law
    This lesson plan focuses on the definition of libel, why libel is so potentially dangerous for journalists, how journalists can avoid libel, and libel’s to media ethics overall.
  • Libel Laws, Freedom of the Press and Journalistic Ethics
    A unit designed as a broad introduction to basic newspaper issues. High turnover can cripple institutional memory — this unit is designed to give everyone a good basic understanding.
  • Case Studies in Journalistic Ethics No. 2
    A one- or two-day lesson (part of a five part unit). This one focuses on the ethics behind the use of hidden cameras to tape alleged wrongdoing. It also touches on libel.
  • Libel and the Student Newspaper: Making Tough Calls
    Can student publications be sued for libel? You bet they can. This lesson examines three hypothetical cases and asks students what they would and wouldn’t publish.
  • Student Press Law and Ethics
    A lesson to be used near the beginning of the year that touches on ethics, press law and other fundamental topics in journalism.

Plagiarism and Copyright

  • Plagiarism in the Real World
    Journalism students need to know how plagiarism affects journalism. This lesson will give students practical guidelines and insight for journalistic publication.