Transparency in the Time of COVID-19 (3/18/2020) - Amanda Martin, general counsel to the N.C. Press Association and a lawyer at Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych, PLLC, has graciously allowed me to post this information that she recently shared with her clients through her newsletter, FIRST FOR A REASON: Info & Ideas About the First Amendment & Media Law.  If you would like to sign up […]
Workshop on Police Body-Worn Cameras a Success (11/14/2017) - Many law enforcement agencies across the country have implemented or are considering body-worn camera (“BWC”) programs as a means to improve policing and promote transparency. Despite the ubiquity of these programs, issues surrounding the use of such cameras continue to arise. While public debate has largely focused on the tension between police accountability and privacy, […]
Welcome Our New Research Fellow, Rachael Jones (8/23/2017) - The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is proud to announce that it has hired its first research fellow, Rachael Jones.  Rachael, who started this week, will oversee the Center’s research initiatives, with a particular focus on government transparency. Prior to joining the Center, Rachael served as the Jack Nelson/Dow Jones Legal Fellow at […]
Center to Hire Media Law and Policy Fellow (11/1/2016) - I’m excited to announce that the Center will be hiring a Media Law and Policy Fellow!  The fellow will play a critical role in supporting a major research initiative at the Center focused on examining various legal and policy issues related to improving government transparency, including the impact government transparency can have on privacy, cybersecurity, equality, and other […]
Make the Most of Your Winter Break (12/7/2015) - Whether you are seeking a summer internship or post-graduate employment, the winter break provides a great opportunity for you to further your job search.  If you are interested in media law, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy’s Job Center is the place to start.  It’s easy to use. You can browse by job type or category, […]
Job opportunities in media law at your fingertips (2/16/2015) - It’s never too early – or too late – to start looking for the internship, fellowship, or job that is right for you.  However, the process of sifting through hundreds of postings looking for what you want can be daunting.  That is why the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy created its Job Center. […]
Law students give legal guidance to Reese News Lab’s Capitol Hound (2/2/2015) - Students enrolled in a UNC School of Law practicum class have provided legal guidance to a project whose faculty advisers have been named recipients of the University’s 2014 C. Felix Harvey Award for Institutional Priorities. The faculty will receive $50,000 to help improve state government transparency through a web application called Capitol Hound. The law […]
Privacy and Court Records: Online Access and the Loss of Practical Obscurity (1/30/2015) - I’m excited to announce that Professor Anne Klinefelter and I received an award from the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and Microsoft Corp. to study the extent of private and other sensitive information in court records.  The $43,000 award will go to the Center for Media Law and Policy and the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library at the UNC […]
Public Records Online at (9/2/2014) - Many of us talk about the importance of public records, but Ryan Thornburg has moved beyond talking. He has found a way to make public records in North Carolina easily accessible to the media and the public. Thornburg, an associate professor in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has created a project called […]
Are Charter School Studies Giving Us The Full Picture? (8/23/2014) - According to a recent study by the University of Arkansas, charter schools are 40% more cost-effective than traditional public schools. But do we really have the full picture? It’s hard to know because charter schools don’t have to disclose the same information as traditional public schools. The Arkansas study measured effectiveness by comparing students’ scores […]
Statehouse media coverage declines (7/29/2014) - According to a recent Pew Research Center report, the number of reporters covering their statehouses has dropped 35% over the past decade. The study found a loss of 164 full-time statehouse reporters across the nation and more than two-thirds of U.S. newspapers without a statehouse reporter at all. Given the media’s role as watchdog for the […]
Students Presenting at AEJMC Conference in August 2014 (6/4/2014) - Three Carolina students have had media law research papers accepted by the Law and Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) for presentation at the group’s annual conference in Montreal in August.  Congratulations! These are the authors, theory paper titles, and their paper abstracts: Kevin Delaney, a student in […]
Obama’s New Plan for the Future of Open Government (2/14/2014) - On this week’s episode of WNYC’s “RadioLab” podcast, the hosts interviewed Jeff Larson, data editor at ProPublica. He described his experience in June 2013 filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to find out if the agency had collected any metadata about his cell phone usage. […]
What’s the deal with fast-track authority? (2/7/2014) - Back in November, The New York Times editorial board endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement involving 12 countries in the Americas and the Pacific Rim that is being negotiated by the Obama Administration. The agreement contains sections covering a broad number of policy topics, including a chapter on intellectual property. At that time, I put together […]
Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to NSA surveillance (11/18/2013) - The Supreme Court Friday declined to consider the legality of the National Security Agency’s collection of Verizon customers’ phone call records. The Court declined without comment to decide whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded its jurisdiction when it issued orders to Verizon to turn over the records of all phone calls made wholly within the […]
A Not-So-Secret Pacific Trade Deal (11/14/2013) - Over the last week, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership has gone from a quiet rumble amongst policy wonks to a major struggle over free trade, intellectual property rights, and executive power. Here is a timeline of featured news stories and blog posts. Scroll to the bottom of the timeline for updates as they become available. […]
Government Shutdown Affects FOIA Requests (10/2/2013) - The government shutdown is having an impact on every “nonessential” federal service, including Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) requests under the NSA. According to the NSA’s website, all FOIA and PA requests or inquiries submitted to the FOIA/PA office “will not be addressed until the office reopens.” The NSA’s homepage also […]
Judge: Google may have illegally wiretapped its users’ email (9/27/2013) - Google may have violated the federal Wiretap Act when it routinely scanned the content of emails for purposes of providing targeted advertising and creating user profiles, a federal judge ruled yesterday. The Northern District of California denied Google’s motion to dismiss the Wiretap Act claims against it, allowing the case to go forward. The court […]
This First Amendment Day, fight for the free flow of information (9/23/2013) - UNC will hold its fifth annual First Amendment Day Sept. 24, a celebration of our rights to speak, publish, worship, assemble and protest without government intervention. It’s easy to celebrate free expression. It’s sometimes harder to notice when that freedom is being eroded by the government. In the year since First Amendment Day 2012, we’ve […]
Twitter Round-Up Week of: September 2 (9/7/2013) - As part of a new weekly feature on our blog, I’ll post the highlights from the Center’s and my Twitter feeds. Here is what had my attention on Twitter this week: [View the story “Weekly Twitter Roundup” on Storify]
Unintended Targets: The NSA’s bulk email collection and Obama’s use of the word “targeting” (8/23/2013) - A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinion released yesterday shed more light on how the National Security Agency collects Americans’ email data, highlighting the disconnect between the NSA’s collection practices and the Obama Administration’s characterization of email surveillance under the PRISM program. The FISA Court opinion held that methods used by the NSA from 2007 to […]
UNC Grad to Head Open Government Coalition (8/12/2013) - A recent graduate of UNC’s dual-degree program in media law, Jonathan Jones (M.A., J.D. 2011), has been named director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and Sunshine Center at Elon University.  He also will teach courses in Elon’s School of Communications. Currently an assistant district attorney for Durham County in North Carolina, Jones will […]
EFF Week 3: The First and Fourth Amendments — down, but hopefully not out (6/9/2013) - It was a busy week at EFF. The phones have been ringing almost non-stop with journalists, supporters, and concerned people. The news outlets wanted interviews with attorneys. The supporters wanted to commiserate. The concerned people wanted answers — how can the government do this, and what does it mean? Of course, the fact that the […]
Lessig v. Corruption (2013) (3/1/2013) - Larry Lessig will visit UNC on Monday, and we will confess to feeling a bit geeked out at the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. What is it about Lessig that continues to captivate political activists, hacktivists and academic observers some 15 years after he was first elevated into the limelight as a special […]
Center Co-Director to Join in Sunshine Day Celebration (3/12/2012) - UNC Center for Media Law and Policy Co-Director Cathy Packer will moderate a panel discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the N.C. Public Records Law as part of the N.C. Open Government Coalition’s annual Sunshine Day celebration. The event will be held Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at Elon University. It is open to the […]
Miriam Nisbet, Director of the Office of Government Information Services (3/12/2010) - Miriam Nisbet, director of the Office of Government Information Services at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, was the keynote speaker at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium. OGIS is the new FOIA policy office and provides mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and administrative agencies.
No Events


Date/Time Event
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Health Warning Labels and the First Amendment: How Did We Get Here and What's Next?
Webinar:, Chapel Hill NC
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Public Records and Public Universities


Date/Time Event
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Fresh Thinking on Government Transparency


Date/Time Event
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Government Transparency in the Age of Social Media: First Amendment and Good Governance Issues | Interdisciplinary Lunch Series
Faculty Lounge, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill NC


Date/Time Event
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
NC Law Review Symposium - Badge Cams as Data and Deterrent: Law Enforcement, the Public and the Press in the Age of Digital Video
George Watts Hill Alumni Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
On The Front Lines: Litigating the First Amendment
Marion A. Cowell, Jr. Boardroom (Room 5003), UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill NC
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Freedom of the Press and the Trump Administration
Room 5048, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill NC


Date/Time Event
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Michael Schudson: The Rise of the Right to Know
Hyde Hall, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill NC
7:15 pm - 8:45 pm
Keeping Government Honest: Whistleblowers, Torture, and America’s War on Terror (An Evening with John Kiriakou)
Freedom Forum Conference Center, Chapel Hill NC
12:00 am - 1:15 pm
Privacy and Court Records: Empirical Research and Tools for Managing Sensitive Information
Marion A. Cowell, Jr. Boardroom (Room 5003), UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill NC
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
M.A./J.D. and Ph.D./J.D. Media Law Dual Degrees Info Session
Freedom Forum Conference Center on the Third Floor of Carroll Hall, Chapel Hill NC
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Frank Baumgartner: The Politics of Information and the Paradox of Search
Halls of Fame Room, Chapel Hill NC
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Big Data, Algorithms, and Discrimination
Room 4004, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill NC


Date/Time Event
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Media Law Summer Internships Panel
Room 4085, UNC School of Law,
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Student Journalists’ Struggles for Access to Public Records
Room 33, Carroll Hall, Chapel Hill NC


Date/Time Event
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Case of the Cuban Five: Justice or Injustice?
FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium, Chapel Hill NC
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Public Address by Lawrence Lessig - Rooting out Corruption in Politics: Complicity and Complacency by the Media
Rotunda, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill NC


Date/Time Event
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Lunch: Wikileaks, Ethics, and the Law
University Room, Chapel Hill NC