JOUR 3633 Media Law

Research guide to accompany JOUR 3633 Media Law, covering constitutional guarantees, statutory laws and court cases applicable to mass communications.

Federal and State Statutes and Regulations

Statutes or laws are enacted by legislative bodies, and are hierarchical--federal law supersedes state law, which in turn supersedes local laws, ordinances, and statutes. Arranged topically with 51 titles, there are two annotated versions of the United States Code. Federal communications statutes, which govern the media, can be found in Title 47 of the United States Code. Use the index volumes at the end of the set to find what you need, or there are volumes listing acts by popular name (Religious Freedom Restoration Act, defamation, etc.).

The current state constitution is the Constitution of the State of Arkansas of 1874. It is available in print in the Constitutions volume of the Arkansas Code (call number KFA3630 1987). The constitution is online.

There are two print publications of the Arkansas Code. The official publication is the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated (Nexis Uni) (call number KFA3630 1987 .A2). The unofficial publication is West's Arkansas Code Annotated (West) (call number KFA3630 1987 .A4). The Arkansas Code is online through the link below.

Session laws are published in print in Acts of Arkansas (call number KFA3625). Acts and bills dating back to 1987 are searchable on the Arkansas State Legislature website through the link below. 

Administrative regulations are very similar to statutes, except they are produced by administrative agencies (e.g. the Federal Communications Commission--FCC) instead of legislatures. They have the weight of law in that violators can be punished with fines or imprisonment. There are two main sources for federal administrative regulations:

Arkansas rules and regulations are not codified (although publications of the regulations have been referred to as codes), so there is no official publication of the regulations as there is for state statutes. The official copies of Arkansas regulations are the ones deposited by Arkansas state agencies with the Arkansas Secretary of State. A print publication of Arkansas regulations is the Code of Arkansas Rules (LexisNexis), also known by its former title of Weil's Code of Arkansas Rules (call number KFA3640 .W44).

The Secretary of State website has a searchable page for the rules and regulations of state agencies, boards, and commissions. Agencies may also publish their rules and regulations on their websites. Consult a directory of Arkansas agencies through the link below. New rules and regulations are published in the Arkansas Register back to September 1, 2001.