Ph.D. Grad to Publish Shield Law Research

Dean Smith, who received his Ph.D. in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2011, has had an article accepted for publication in the “Journal of Media Law and Ethics” this summer. The article is “Journalist Privilege in 1929: The Quest for a Federal Shield Law Begins.”

In his article, Smith uses a critical legal history approach to explore the first attempts to persuade Congress to adopt a federal shield law and explains the lasting impact of those events. This is the first scholarly treatment of the events, and the article incorporates original historical research. The theoretical lens through which the events are viewed is borrowed from Michael Gerhardt, a well-known constitutional-law scholar on the faculty of the UNC School of Law.  The article is based on Smith’s dissertation research.

Smith is an adjunct professor in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  He teaches media law and newswriting.

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