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Journal of Media Law and Ethics


In April 2012, the School of Law began publishing the Journal of Media Law & Ethics (ISSN1940-9389), an online, peer-reviewed journal exploring current legal issues facing the media including copyright, defamation and reporters' privilege.

Published quarterly, JMLE seeks theoretical and analytical manuscripts that advance the understanding of media law and ethics in society. Submissions may have a legal, historical, or social science orientation, but must focus on media law or ethics.

In the current issue of JMLE, Dr. Robert L. Kerr, professor at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, applies a postmodernist analysis to selected First Amendment decisions of the Roberts Supreme Court to assess its explanatory capability. His study uses a framework for identifying evidence of postmodernist motifs articulated by Stephen Feldman as part of his effort to assess the Rehnquist Court in postmodernist terms. Dr. Kerr finds that, although such an approach is unlikely to provide the more orderly and practically useful results of modernist legal analysis, it may prove a more accurate guide in terms of predictive longevity.  

Another approach to interpreting the freedom-of-speech jurisprudence of Chief Justice Roberts is presented by Dr. Jared Schroeder, Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. His article employs philosophical hermeneutics to examine how Chief Justice Roberts interprets meaning, especially as it applies to apprehending the future trajectory of free speech.  From this analysis, Dr. Schroeder concludes that individual ideological motivations, rather than institutional forces, form the basis for his interpretations.

    Dr. Matthew J. Haught, Assistant Professor of Visual Communication in the Department of Journalism, University of Memphis, explores the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decision in West Virginia Association of Club Owners and Fraternal Services v. John Musgrave. He argues that the court’s upholding a state ban on advertising by privately operated video lottery parlors violates the commercial speech principles set out in Central Hudson Gas and Electric v. Public Service Commission and Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association, Inc. v. United States. Dr. Haught also advocates strict scrutiny for commercial speech.

    Finally, Robert G. Larson III, a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota, assesses the legal validity of online news aggregation and continued viability of the hot news doctrine in the face of the changing media landscape.  He concludes that the practice of online news aggregation is largely safe from legal challenges, including both copyright and misappropriation claims. While hot news misappropriation remains a viable cause of action in several states, Mr. Larson shows that it has suffered from ongoing limitation, and has now been restricted to use only in cases of actual free riding.

All theoretical perspectives are welcome. All manuscripts undergo blind peer review. Access to JMLE is available to the public at no charge.


All manuscripts must be original and must not be under consideration at other journals.

Peer Review:

All manuscripts will undergo blind peer review. The normal review period is three months or less.


The ideal length for submitted papers is 20-30 double-spaced pages (6,000 to 8,000 words using 12-point Times Roman or equivalent type), including footnotes, tables, and figures. Longer manuscripts will be considered when space is available.The submission and review process will be electronic; all manuscripts should be prepared using Microsoft Word or converted to that format. Email should be sent to the editor, Eric B. Easton, professor of law.

Manuscript Preparation:

All footnotes should be in Bluebook form. All text must be double-spaced except tables and figures, which must be "camera-ready." Microsoft Word is the required software program for formatting manuscripts. The title page should include the title of the manuscript, names and affiliations of all authors, as well as their addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Five key words for referencing the document in electronic databases are also required. Only the title page should contain identifying information. The second page should include the manuscript title and an abstract of 150 to 250 words. All figures and tables must be formatted to 5.5 inches in width and no more than 7.5 inches in height.

Copyright and Production Notes:

All works submitted must be original and must not have been published elsewhere. Authors of works that are selected for publication shall retain the copyright in their works. However, authors should give the Journal of Media Law & Ethics and the University of Baltimore School of Law a nonexclusive right to publish the work in journals, books, or any other collections that it may publish at the same time or in the future. Authors shall be given credit in such works and will continue to control the copyright in their own works. After a manuscript is accepted for publication, the author or authors are expected to proofread and edit the page proofs when they are provided.


Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright owners to use lengthy quotations (450 words or more) or to reprint or adapt a table or figure that has been published elsewhere. Authors should write to the original copyright holder requesting nonexclusive permission to reproduce the material in this journal and in future publications of the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Email an electronic copy of manuscripts to: Eric Easton, Editor.