Amy Kristin Sanders

Professor Amy Kristin Sanders is an award-winning journalist and licensed attorney. Her research focuses on the intersection of law and new technology, with a focus around media. Dr. Sanders researches in the areas of online defamation, social media, and telecommunication regulation. Dr. Sanders regularly speaks to professional journalism, law and civic groups, and her research has appeared in Communication Law and Policy, the Federal Communication Law Journal, the Journal of Media Law and Ethics and the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy, among other journals. She is the co-author, along with T. Barton Carter, Marc A. Franklin and Jay B. Wright, of First Amendment and the Fourth Estate: The Law of Mass Media. She authored a chapter on obscenity, sexting and cyberbullying in Social Media and the Law: A Guidebook for Communication Students and Professionals. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Sanders worked as a copy editor and page designer for the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, a New York Times Co. newspaper. She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication Law from the University of Florida. Her MA in Professional Journalism and Juris Doctorate are from the University of Iowa.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Mass Communication Law, University of Florida, 2007.
  • J.D.: Law, University of Iowa College of Law, 2003.
  • M.A.: Professional Journalism, University of Iowa, 2003.


  • First Amendment Law, including Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech
  • Cyberspace Law, including Net Neutrality and Online Defamation
  • Internet and New Technologies, including Social Media
  • Administrative Law, including Media Ownership and Advertising Regulation
  • Telecommunication Regulation, including Indecency and Diversity
Courses Taught
  • JOUR 8679 Seminar: Research Methods in Media Ethics and Law
  • JOUR 8002: Studies in Mass Communication II (Qualitative Theory and Methods)
  • JOUR 5552: Law of Internet Communication
  • JOUR 3776H: Honors Mass Communication Law
  • JOUR 3776: Mass Communication Law
  • JOUR 3775: Administrative Law and Regulation for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3101H: Honors News Reporting and Writing
  • JOUR 3101: News Reporting and Writing
  • JOUR 1001H: Honors Introduction to Mass Communication
  • JOUR 1001: Introduction to Mass Communication
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Licensed Attorney, State of Missouri:
  • Licensed Attorney, State of Florida:
  • Copy editor and page designer: The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun
  • Editor, The Brechner Report: Brechner Center for Freedom of Information


  • Professional Freedom & Responsibility chair, Law Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication: August 2010 - present
  • Amy Kristin Sanders & Holly Miller, Revitalizing Rosenbloom: The Matter of Public Concern Standard in the Age of the Internet. Forthcoming in FIRST AMENDMENT LAW REVIEW. *Top Paper Award
  • Amy Kristin Sanders & Richard Waters, What about My Right to Privacy? A Case Study of Public Relations Professionals and Students Regarding the Screening of Social Media Profiles During the Job Interview Process. 4 JOURNAL OF MEDIA EDUCATION 5-14 (2013). *Lead article
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, Obscenity, Sexting & Cyberbullying in SOCIAL MEDIA & THE LAW (Daxton Stewart, ed.). Routledge Publishing (2012).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders (with T. Barton Carter, Marc A. Franklin and Jay B. Wright), FIRST AMENDMENT AND THE FOURTH ESTATE (11th ed. Foundation Press, 2012).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, Defining Defamation: Evaluating Harm in the Age of the Internet. 3 JOURNAL OF MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS 110-133 (2012).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders & Natalie Hopkins Best, Re-Defining Defamation: Psychological Sense of Community in the Age of the Internet, 17 COMMUNICATION LAW & POLICY 355-384 (2012).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders & Patrick C. File, Giving Users a Plain Deal: Contract-Related Media Liability for Unmasking Anonymous Users, Forthcoming in COMMUNICATION LAW & POLICY (2011).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders & Sarah J. Arendt, Bloggers as Limited-Purpose Public Figures: New Standards for a New Medium. 2 JOURNAL OF MEDIA LAW & ETHICS 5-27 (2010). *Lead Article
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, Defining Defamation: Community in the Age of the Internet. 15 COMMUNICATION LAW & POLICY 231-264 (2010).
  • Amy Jo Coffey & Amy Kristin Sanders, Defining a Product Market for Spanish-Language Media: Lessons from United States v. Univision Communications, Inc. and Hispanic Broadcasting, 15 COMMUNICATION LAW & POLICY 58-89 (2010).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, Defining Defamation: Plaintiff Status in the Age of the Internet, 1 JOURNAL OF MEDIA LAW & ETHICS 155-185 (2009).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, When Is Enough Too Much? The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 and the Eighth Amendment’s Prohibition on Excessive Fines, 2 DUKE JOURNAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW & PUBLIC POLICY 339-366 (2007).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, Market Definition, Merger Review, and Media Monopolization: Congressional Approval of the Corporate Voice Through the Newspaper Preservation Act, 59 FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS LAW JOURNAL 403-424 (2007).
  • Amy Kristin Sanders, Narrow Lanes Ahead?: An Examination of Public Access to Information Regarding the Transportation of Hazardous Materials in a Post-9/11 World, 29 ENVIRONS: ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY JOURNAL 126-148 (2005).
  • Top Paper Award, Open Division, Law & Policy Division, 2013 Broadcast Education Association national conference
  • Top Paper Award, Open Division, Courses, Curricula and Administrative Division, 2012 Broadcast Education Association national conference
  • Second Place Research Paper Award, Debut Category, Law Division, 2008 Broadcast Education Association national conference
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, University of Minnesota, January 2010 - June 2011
  • Single Semester Leave, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, Fall 2009
  • Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Summer 2008