Short But Sweet Lessons For Doodle The News In The Law Slammer

Short But Sweet Lessons For Doodle The News In The Law Slammer

Graduation seems so close yet so far, as most Newhouse master’s students like myself have a slew of final projects, productions, and tests to knock out before we can earn our degrees. For what it’s worth, most Newhouse professors do a great job preparing students for these stressful times.

Earlier today in Professor Imraan Farukhi‘s TRF 637 Telecommunications Law & Policy class, we played a game of Entertainment Law Jeopardy, and it was a perfect example of what I call edutainment. Farukhi had our class topics broken down into different categories, putting us in teams of four to compete for the most points. Things were hectic and competitive at first, but it ended up being a very informative and fun way to learn about copyright law, trademarks, and music/film cases.I took a Digital Communications Law course during my undergraduate career at Cornell University, but this game showed me I definitely need to brush up on my law lingo. I was able to answer simple true/false questions about copyright, but most questions across the board stumped me. Luckily Farukhi plays it smart, and assured students he would provide a link to the questions in the game on Blackboard.

This Jeopardy game wasn’t the only time Farukhi decided to give us an opportunity to truly see if we were learning his lessons in telecommunication law. Last Friday, we split into eight different groups and were given scenarios to teach us art of negotiating deals. We were working with contracts involving thousands of dollars, and it truly felt like the stakes were high if we didn’t sign a good deal for our theoretical clients.

A lot of what we learn in class can be dry and brain taxing, so it’s nice to have a chance to participate in experiential learning. It’s hard to learn these real world intricacies of business while being a student, especially the human side of negotiations. Farukhi even made a point of remaining composed during negotiations, as it leads to the opposition seeing you are calm and intelligent to negotiate with.

Due to my completion of Communication Law at Cornell, I had to take the Law Slammer at Newhouse, meaning I only had to attend class for the last five weeks or so. I would have liked to learn more about law in the multimedia startup space, but I wouldn’t know if he taught this material at the beginning of the semester.

With my startup Doodle the News, I will likely explore more of these laws down the road as I build my team. I even made sure to ask Farukhi if I could shoot an email to him in case I had any questions in the future, as a lawyer’s time can be incredibly expensive. Between him and Douglas Gorman, a guest speaker I met once when I randomly walked into a startup formation and entity lecture (you can learn a lot by sneaking into certain classes at Whitman 😉), I think I have a decent budding network of experts in law.

Alongside some lessons in law, I learned some strong ways to present educational material in a class setting. The concept of Jeopardy substituting questions from class topics isn’t news, but it reminded me how the power of competition can truly inspire students to give more effort in academia. It’s these humanistic aspects of our educational environment that make it clear to me that learning can be fun and engaging, and I hope to capture these aspects with my Doodle the News media literacy workshops in the future.

Overall, I’m glad I had the chance to learn some media law from Professor Farukhi at the tail-end of my spring semester. He gets tons of great reviews from students every time his name is brought up in the hallways of Newhouse, and it’s great to see professors who do have a clear passion for what they teach.

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Tobenna Attah
Transmedia Entrepreneur
Tobe V. Attah is a multimedia entrepreneur with a mission to innovate in today’s new media landscape while making a meaningful impact in the world. He founded Doodle the News in October 2017, a mutliplatform hub for people to have their voices heard and help them become more civic minded through bite-sized journalism.
He has been published across a wide variety of media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, the Cornell Daily Sun, SportTechie, Clutchpoints, Cavs Nation, the Cornell Chronicle, and many more.
Tobe has a plethora of hobbies, including writing, athletics, drawing, acting, and collaborating with others about ideas and startups working in the multimedia space.