Dr. Jonathan Peters

Assistant Professor, Journalism


Dr. Peters, who holds an affiliate faculty position in the UGA School of Law, specializes in communication law and policy. He is also the press freedom correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review.

View Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Journalism, University of Missouri
J.D., Ohio State University
B.S., Journalism, Ohio University


Dr. Peters researches communication law and policy, and most of his work is in two areas. First, he studies how Internet companies make decisions regarding the content they host and the speech they intermediate, along with the role that First Amendment principles play in informing and checking those decisions. Second, he studies how new media are reshaping the gathering, production, and distribution of news and information, with the effect of challenging long-held legal principles. Dr. Peters has published articles in a variety of top journals, including the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, the Harvard Law and Policy Review, the Federal Communications Law Journal, and the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal.


Dr. Peters has taught courses in communication law, communication ethics, information gathering, feature writing, and public affairs reporting. He has also taught graduate seminars in communication law and Internet/content governance, and he regularly mentors and supervises graduate students. He is an award-winning teacher and the former Teaching Chair of the Law & Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.


Dr. Peters is the press freedom correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review, and he has written about legal issues for other news organizations, including Esquire, The Atlantic, Slate, Wired, and CNN. He has also written about the NHL for Sports Illustrated. He is a frequent commentator on First Amendment issues, for such outlets as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, CNN, Politico, the Associated Press, and The Guardian, among others. In addition, his work has been noted by John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” and Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.”

Dr. Peters is active in several nonprofits, serving as the First Amendment Chair of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, as a member of the Freedom of Information Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, and as a member of the Governance Committee of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. He is also the Professional Freedom and Responsibility Chair of the Law & Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. Peters is a volunteer First Amendment lawyer for the Student Press Law Center and the ACLU, and he has conducted media law seminars for dozens of organizations, most recently the radio program “This American Life” and the investigative podcast “Serial.” He participates annually in the U.S. Department of State’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, in which he has trained editors and journalists from over 20 countries in First Amendment concepts, examining the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy. And he recently completed a project to develop legal guidelines for press rights at peaceful assemblies in Europe, working with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, based in Vienna, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, based in Warsaw.

Before coming to UGA, Dr. Peters was an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, where he held affiliate research positions in the KU Information and Telecommunication Technology Center and the KU Surveillance Studies Research Center.

Jonathan Peters, assistant professor, Journalism
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When a journalist is arrested covering a protest, what should the news outlet do? ​ via Columbia Journalism Review​

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Trump wants to ​"​ look into ​"​ free press, via Politico

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The ethics of leaks, via Nieman Reports

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