Welcome to the Law and Policy division of AEJMC

The Law and Policy division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) is dedicated to exploring the wide range of legal and policy issues that surround mass communication and free expression by supporting members’ research and teaching efforts in those areas. The division also plays a prominent role in AEJMC’s efforts to promote professional freedom and responsibility by serving as a bridge between academic discourse and public understanding on topics of free expression.

The Law and Policy division encourages members to present their research at the regional and national AEJMC conferences and has brought a wide range of practitioners – journalists and lawyers – together with academic scholars to share their insights on current issues. These panels are often co-sponsored by other AEJMC divisions and have explored such issues as student press freedom, minority ownership of media, the ethical impact of legal decisions, the Freedom of Information Act, and comparative media regulation.

Membership in the division includes a subscription to Media Law Notes, our quarterly newsletter, and to Communication Law and Policy, the division’s quarterly research journal. Communication Law and Policy publishes high-quality research using traditional legal research and social science techniques; ethnographic, international or comparative analyses; or other appropriate approaches to pertinent topics. Founded in 1996 and indexed in the Lexis law review database, the journal is one of the top peer-reviewed journals for research in communication law and policy.

I hope you’ll enjoy exploring our website and learning more about the division. With your help, we hope to make this an intellectual meeting place for discussion surrounding media law and policy issues. I also ask your input to help us complete our list of past division heads.

Please refer to the list of officers on this site if you have questions or would like to join us.  And, most of all, welcome!

Derigan Silver
Head, Law and Policy division 2013-2014

Bambauer Wins First Stonecipher Award

Jane Bambauer, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Law, is the first recipient of the Harry W. Stonecipher Award, recognizing top scholarship in communication and free speech law in the previous year.

Professor Bambauer received the award for her article “Is Data Speech?’, published in 2014 in Stanford Law Review. [link to article here: http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/print/article/data-speech] In the article, Professor Bambauer argues that First Amendment protection should extend to data, which has the ability to create knowledge and inspire new opinions. As such, data would be protected against sweeping privacy regulations, though Professor Bambauer suggests that reasonable regulations should still possible under proper Constitutional scrutiny.

This article was chosen among dozens of nominees by the selection committee, comprising communication law scholars from Law and Policy Division of AEJMC. The award comes with a $1,000 prize.

The award was established by professors Kyu Ho Youm and Doug Anderson to honor Dr. Stonecipher, their friend and teacher and a renowned scholar of First Amendment and communication law at Southern Illinois University.

“I am thrilled that Professor Bambuaer has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Stonecipher research award,” Youm said. “She is a most worthy awardee, given that her article is an incisive analysis of a truly game-changing topic in First Amendment law.”

Professor Bambauer will receive her award at the members meeting of the Law and Policy Division at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, at the annual conference of AEJMC in San Francisco.

Winter 2015 Media Law Notes

The winter issue of Media Law Notes, our division newsletter is now available. It can be found with the other issues of the Media Law Notes in the library and by clicking  here: Media Law Notes Winter 2015.

Submissions for the Teaching Ideas Competition

Call for Submissions for the Teaching Ideas Competition

The call for submissions for the Law and Policy Division’s Seventh Annual Teaching Ideas Competition is now open. The division wants to hear all of your ideas for innovation in teaching communication law and policy. Submissions could focus on a creative approach for studying a case or cases; new ideas for incorporating social media or multimedia experiences into courses; effective in-class group activities or assignments that help students synthesize key lessons; a group project that encourages collaborative learning; a lesson plan or syllabus that reveals an innovative approach for a seminar or skills course; an idea for experiential or service learning; or any other area of teaching and learning that will help others improve their courses.

Winning submissions will receive certificates and cash prizes: $100 for first place, $75 for second place, and $50 for third place. Winners will be recognized during the AEJMC Law and Policy Division business meeting in San Francisco, and their ideas will be showcased on the division website and in Media Law Notes.

All submissions must be received by May 1, 2015. Submissions must be sent as an email attachment (specifically, a Word document) to Teaching Chair Jonathan Peters at jonathan.w.peters@ku.edu. Please use “Teaching Ideas Competition” in the subject line.

Include your name, affiliation, contact information, and the title of your idea at the top of your submission. Describe your teaching idea in 1-2 pages (single-spaced) in this format: introduction to your idea, your rationale for it, an explanation of how you implement the idea, and student learning outcomes. Include any appropriate hyperlinks at the bottom of your submission, and include any relevant attachments to your email.

A panel of judges will blind review each submission based on the idea’s creativity, innovation, practicality, and overall value to students. Submissions will be acknowledged via email but not returned.

Submitters need not be Law and Policy Division members. Both faculty and graduate students are welcome to submit. Previous entrants who were not awarded may revise and resubmit ideas from previous years. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2015. For any questions, please contact Jonathan Peters at jonathan.w.peters@ku.edu.

Special Call for J&MCQ

Law and Policy Division members —
Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly has announced a call for papers for a special issue on Information Access and Control in the Age of Big Data.  Two of our division members — Ed Carter of BYU and Laurie Lee of Nebraska — are serving as guest editors of the journal for this issue.
Thank you to both Ed and Laurie for taking on this task — it will be great to see these issues get attention in AEJMC’s premier journal.
I have attached the call, and I encourage your participation.
Chip Stewart


J&MCQ Special Issue Call for Papers

Call for Papers: 2015 Southeast Colloquium

40th Annual AEJMC Southeast Colloquium Call for Papers: Law and Policy Division


The Law and Policy Division of AEJMC invites scholars to submit original papers for the annual AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, which is scheduled to take place March 26-28, 2015 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Papers may focus on any topic related to communications law and/or policy, including defamation, privacy, freedom of information, commercial speech, Federal Communications Commission issues, copyright, obscenity and other issues regarding freedom of speech and press. A panel of judges will blind referee all submissions, and selection will be based strictly on merit. Authors need not be AEJMC or Law and Policy Division members, but they must attend the colloquium to present accepted papers.


Prof. Jane Kirtley, the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota and directs The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, will be the keynote speaker at the Southeast Colloquium.


Law and Policy Division papers must be no longer than 50 double-spaced pages (including appendices, tables, notes and bibliography). Although Bluebook citation format is preferred, authors may employ any recognized and uniform format for referencing authorities. There is no limit on the number of submissions authors may make to the Division. The top three faculty papers and top three student papers in the Law and Policy Division will be recognized. Student authors of single-authored papers should clearly indicate their student status to be considered for the student paper awards.


Authors should submit each paper as an email attachment (documents may be submitted in Word or PDF formats). In the body of the email, please provide the title of the paper, and the name, affiliation, address, office phone, home phone, fax and e-mail address for each author. This is where students and faculty should indicate their status for consideration of the faculty and student top paper awards. Do not include any author identifying information on any page of the attached paper submission. Authors also should redact identifying information from the document properties. On the cover page of the attached paper, only the title of the paper should appear. Following the cover page, include a 250-word abstract.


Submissions should be emailed to mtmartinez@utk.edu. The deadline for paper submissions is Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at midnight Eastern Standard Time.


If you have any questions about the submission process or the paper contest, please contact Dr. Michael T. Martinez by phone at (865) 687-2564 or via e-mail at mtmartinez@utk.edu.


Helpful links:

40th Annual AEJMC Southeast Colloquium

Conference Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House

McGee Tyson Airport

Fall 2014 Media Law Notes

The fall issue of Media Law Notes, our division newsletter is now available. It can be found with the other issues of the Media Law Notes. Many thanks to clerk/newsletter editor Jason Martin for his work on this.

AEJMC 2014 Conference Law and Policy Division Panelists

The AEJMC 2014 Conference Law and Policy Division Panel schedule  is now available. Congratulations to all paper authors and presenters.

The Law and Policy Division on Social Media

The Law and Policy Division is on Facebook and Twitter. Join our AEJMC Law and Policy Group on Facebook, and follow us at AEJMC_LP on Twitter.

Call for Applications

Editor, Communication Law and Policy

The Publications Policy Committee of the AEJMC Law & Policy Division is seeking applications for the position of editor of Communication Law and Policy, the quarterly, peer-reviewed law journal published by the division.  The position is for a three-year term and will begin January 1, 2015.

The editor of the journal is responsible for the prompt processing of all manuscripts submitted to the journal, coordinating four issues per year, handling all correspondence relative to the publication, preparing an annual report, and presenting the report to the division each year at the AEJMC annual conference.  The editor should be able to write and edit clearly, to communicate effectively with authors, and to have an understanding of and appreciation for a broad range of research methods used in legal scholarship. The editor should also have a strong publication record in law or policy.

The editor receives an annual honorarium, but must demonstrate that the academic unit where the journal will be housed will support the journal with specific consideration as to postage, photocopying and other technical support, as well as some provisions for an editorial assistant.

A letter of application, a complete curriculum vita, a letter of support from a unit head, and a list of five references with contact information should be mailed to Prof. Derigan Silver, Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, University of Denver, 2490 S. Gaylord St., Denver CO 80208-5000.  Inquiries may be made by email to Prof. Silver at derigan.silver@du.edu.  Application materials must arrive by March 1, 2014.

Call for Papers

Communication Law and Technology: The Next 20 Years

New technologies are new media have brought seismic change to communication. The global shift to digital media has strained centuries-old laws in ways that few could have predicted in 1985 when the first .com Web site was registered. Few people would have realized then that within twenty years or so legal scholars would be debating how precedents crated in the 1970s and 80s would apply to the dissemination of secret documents by Wikileaks, or that the four traditional privacy torts might be called obsolete in the world of social media, or that there would be drone journalism.

Communication Law and Policy, the research journal of the Law and Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, is publishing a special issue examining the evolution and direction of communication law and policy in the Twenty-First Century. The journal invites scholars on Internet law, media law, broadcast law, philosophy, policy and economics to consider what the next two decades might bring for communication law and policy. Papers may address any issue—legal or cultural—related to the future of communication law and policy. Papers may be evaluative, normative or prophetic—that is, papers may focus on the current status and make normative suggestions about legal and policy choices or may focus on the future of the intersection of communication law and technology, so long as they addresses where communication law is or should be headed over the next twenty years. Possible topics include social media, behavioral advertising, online speech, AI, privacy and communication technology, terms of service, the future of journalism and the law, and the future of copyright.

Authors whose papers are accepted to the journal through the peer-review process will be invited to a special symposium for the 2014 AEJMC Conference in Montreal, Canada. Accepted authors will be responsible for their own travel to the symposium.

There are no length requirements. Footnote style must follow The Bluebook: A uniform System of Citation (18th ed.). The first page of each manuscript should contain the article’s title, but no authorship information. An accompanying cover page should contain the title and the name, address, e-mail address and phone number of each author. Manuscripts should be accompanied by an abstract of approximately 125 words and should be submitted to W. Wat Hopkins at whopkins@vt.edu.

The deadline for receipt is March 1, 2014.