MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. diplomats around the world will soon by using a handbook written by a University of Minnesota professor to explain the responsibilities of a free press to members of foreign governments and the media.

The U.S. State Department commissioned Jane Kirtley, a university professor of media ethics and law, to write the “Media Law Handbook.” An initial press run of 30,000 copies is now being distributed.

Kirtley says that although some believe a free press should champion political causes and others believe it should be nonpartisan, there are certain standards that still apply to a free press in a free society.

The 65-page book draws on real-life case studies such as the contract killing of an investigative journalist in Russia.

The book is available online here.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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