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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. W. Wat Hopkins, a senior professor in the Communications Department at Virginia Tech University and the long-time editor of Communications Law & Policy, argues that the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong when it decided the controversial case of Snyder v. Phelps. In that case, the Court held that the verbal attack of the Westboro Baptist Church against Albert Snyder, during and after the funeral of Snyder’s son, a Marine killed in Iraq, was protected speech because it involved matters of public concern.  The Church’s practice of picketing the funerals of soldiers was motivated by a belief that their deaths were God’s punishment for our society’s tolerance of homosexuality.

In his thought-provoking article, Hopkins breaks with a number of other First Amendment scholars to argue that the Supreme Court avoided tort law precedent related to public and private figures and diverted the issue from intentional infliction of emotional distress to matters of public debate, even though the Snyder case involved no public debate.  In so doing, he says, “the Court all but eliminated intentional infliction of emotional distress as a speech-based tort.”

The other two articles in this issue deal with the potential liability of bloggers or citizen journalists for libel. Dr. Nikhil Moro of the University of North Textas suggests an expansion of the actual malice doctrine to provide an enhanced level of protection.Graduate students Yoonmo Sang and Jonathan Anderson offer a comparative analysis of U.S. and South Korean law on the subject.

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.