FCC v. Fox Television Stations and a Call for Protecting Emotive Speech

Wat Hopkins, Park Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, presented his research at the Mary Junck Research Colloquium. Dr. Hopkins discussed the Supreme Court’s recent treatment of non-traditional language and the appropriate level of protection for the emotive, as well as the cognitive, element of speech. The presentation focused on the justices’ attempt in FCC v. Fox Television Stations to define the f-word and then determine whether, when used as a fleeting expletive rather than repeatedly, the word is indecent for broadcast purposes. Dr. Hopkins, a professor of communication at Virginia Tech, has published three books and a number of articles on free speech topics. The presentation was co-sponsored by the UNC Center for Media Law & Policy.

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