Media law dissertation best in nation

A recent Ph.D. graduate of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication has won the 2012 Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in the field of mass communication.

The winner is Dr. Dean Smith, an affiliated scholar of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. The dissertation award is given by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and will be presented during the association’s national convention in August.

The title of Smith’s dissertation is “Legislating the First Amendment: Statutory Shield Laws as Non-Judicial Precedents.” The work will be published as a book next year by LBF Scholarly Publishing.

Smith’s dissertation adviser was Dr. Cathy Packer, co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy.

In the fall, Smith will join the faculty at N.C. State University as a teaching visiting professor of journalism in the English Department. He also will teach as an adjunct professor at High Point University.

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