Ph.D., University of Minnesota (mass communication)
M.A., University of Minnesota (mass communication)
B.A., Saint Olaf College (English and religion)

Research Interests:

First Amendment
Media ethics
Media accountability systems


Law of Mass Communication (undergraduate)
Media Ethics (undergraduate)
Communication Ethics Seminar (graduate)
Ethics for Professional Communicators (graduate, online)


– Two of her graduate students have won the Carol Burnett Award for the best research in media ethics nationally.
– Her article “First Amendment Theories and Press Responsibility: The Work of Thomas Emerson, Zechariah Chafee, Vincent Blasi and Edwin Baker”€ was named one of the fifty classic research articles in mass communication, by Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.
– Her article “€˜Spectacles of the Poor€™: Conventions of Alternative News”€ was named as one of the three best ethnographies of the decade, also by J Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.
– She is listed as a leading researcher in both media ethics (top 18) and media law (top 52) by the Institute for Communication Online Scholarship (CIOS).
– She has won best-paper awards for research (2011, Media Ethics Division of AEJMC; 1991, Law Division, AEJMC) and teaching awards (1996, 1997, North Dakota State).

Selected Publications

Journalism’s Crazy Old Aunt: Helen Thomas and Paradigm Repair.  Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (in press) (with Ryan Thomas).

The Princess and the Paparazzi: Blame, Responsibility and the Media’s Role in the Death of Diana, in Daniel Berkowitz, Cultural Meanings of News A Text-Reader (Sage Publications, 2010).

Protecting Childhood: Rights, Social Goals and the First Amendment in the Context of the Child Online Protection Act, Communication Law and Policy 15(1): 1-23 (Winter 2010) (lead article).

When is the Truth Not the Truth? Truth Telling and Libel by Implication, Communication Law and Policy 12(4): 341-367 (Autumn, 2007).

Jayson Blair, The New York Times, and Paradigm Repair,  Journal of Communication 55(2): 225-241 (June 2005).

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost: Individualism, Collectivism, and Conflict in Commercial Speech Doctrine, Communication Law and Policy 9 (2): 237-271 (Spring 2004).

Rights vs. Responsibilities: The Supreme Court and the Media (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997).