UNC Center for Media Law and Policy

David Ardia and Mary-Rose Papendrea with students

The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is an interdisciplinary research center run jointly out of the UNC School of Law and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The center serves as a forum for study and debate about the broad array of media law and policy issues facing North Carolina, the nation, and the world. The center’s work ranges from the legal and policy issues affecting traditional media organizations to the challenges posed by new communication technologies, including social media, the Internet, and mobile technology, and the impact they are having on governments, on the economy, and on cultural and social values throughout the world.

The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy builds on the extraordinary strengths of UNC-Chapel Hill’s highly regarded law and journalism schools, bringing together a diverse group of legal and communication scholars, media professionals, and practicing attorneys. Faculty members and graduate students affiliated with the center conduct media law and policy research, host public events, including UNC’s annual First Amendment Day, and work to educate North Carolina’s business community about the opportunities for supporting and expanding entrepreneurship in the field of information technology.

In addition to First Amendment Day, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy organizes a number of events and workshops each year including interdisciplinary faculty lunches, symposia, panels, policy initiatives and host internationally renowned speakers. Please visit the center’s website for more information about the center and ways to get involved.

Faculty Co-Directors

David Ardia: Professor Ardia is an associate professor of law at the UNC School of Law and a former faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Before joining the Carolina Law faculty, he founded and directed the Berkman Center’s Digital Media Law Project. Prior to going to Harvard, Ardia was assistant counsel at The Washington Post, where he provided pre-publication review and legal advice on First Amendment, newsgathering, intellectual property, and general business issues. He is a former member of the Newspaper Association of America’s legal affairs committee and is a current member of the Online News Association’s legal advisory board and the First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. You can follow him on Twitter.

Tori Ekstrand: Dr. Ekstrand is an associate professor at the UNC School of Media and Journalism.  Before coming to Carolina, she was an associate professor in the Bowling Green State University Department of Journalism and Public Relations and an affiliate faculty member of BGSU’s American Cultural Studies department. A former senior executive for The Associated Press, Ekstrand’s research began as an investigation into the hot news doctrine, a part of unfair competition law that protects ownership of the facts of news for a limited period. That research resulted in the publication of her book, News Piracy and the Hot News Doctrine: Origins in Law and Implications for the Digital Age (LFB Scholarly, 2005). Her most recent book on the subject, Hot News in the Age of Big Data: A Legal History of the Hot News Doctrine and Implications for the Digital Age (LFB Scholarly, 2015), looks at the history of the doctrine and its impact on protections for discrete bits of information in the age of Big Data.