Erin K. Coyle


Erin K. Coyle

  • Lew Klein College of Media and Communication

    • Journalism

      • Associate Professor

    • Media and Communication


Erin Coyle became interested in researching press freedom, access issues and privacy when she worked as a journalist. She uses legal and historical research methods to examine freedom of expression, access to government information and officials, privacy rights and fair trial rights.

Coyle has published articles on conflicts between free press and fair trial rights, journalists’ access to government information, photojournalists’ access to U.S. presidents and privacy rights in top media law and media history journals.

Her current research focuses on news coverage of crimes and trials that could harm defendants or survivors’ privacy rights. She is exploring how government officials and journalists have attempted to protect defendants’ rights, crime survivors’ rights and journalists’ free-expression rights.

Coyle teaches courses in mass media law and ethics, reporting and writing and journalism history. While earning her PhD in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she served on the University of North Carolina School of Law’s First Amendment Law Review. She also taught news writing and editing courses while earning a Master of Science from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She studied journalism when earning a BA from Emory University.

Courses Taught




JRN 1196

Writing and Reporting


JRN 3101

Journalism Law and Ethics


JRN 5303

Journalism Concepts


Selected Publications


  • Ekstrand, V. S., Carlson, C. R., Coyle, E., Ross, S. D., & Reynolds, A. (2023). Trager′s the Law of Journalism and Mass Communication. Sage Publications, Incorporated.

  • Coyle, E. (2020). Bezanson, Randall P. The Right to Privacy Revisited: Privacy, News, and Social Change, 1890-1990, 80 Cal. L. Rev. 1133 (1992). Communication Law and Policy, 25(3), 344-347. doi: 10.1080/10811680.2020.1766320.

  • Coyle, E., Fondren, E., & Richard, J. (2020). Advocacy, Editorial Opinion, and Agenda Building: How Publicity Friends Fought for Louis D. Brandeis’s 1916 Supreme Court Confirmation. American Journalism, 37(2), 165-190. doi: 10.1080/08821127.2020.1750884.

  • Mellinger, G. & Coyle, E.K. (2019). Blackening the news: An ethical imperative for newsroom diversity. In Array,

  • Coyle, E.K. (2019). Ethical duty and the right to know: Sam Ragan’s crusades to provide the public with access to information. In Array, Journalism's Ethical Progression A Twentieth-Century Journey. Lexington Books.

  • Coyle, E. & Whitenack, S. (2019). Access to 911 recordings: Balancing privacy interests and the public's right to know about deaths. Communication Law and Policy, 24(3), 307-345. doi: 10.1080/10811680.2019.1627796.

  • Coyle, E.K. (2018). Turning Point. Journalism History, 44(3), 150-161. doi: 10.1080/00947679.2018.12059206.

  • Coyle, E. (2018). Saving Human Trafficking Victims from Additional Stigma: Privacy Versus Publication Rights Related to Identifying Images. Journal of Human Trafficking, 4(1), 102-104. doi: 10.1080/23322705.2018.1426811.

  • Dahmen, N. & Coyle, E. (2017). Obama white house photos limited by access policies. Newspaper Research Journal, 38(4), 439-448. doi: 10.1177/0739532917739872.

  • Coyle, E.K. (2017). Sunlight and shadows: Louis D. Brandeis on privacy, publicity, and free expression in American democracy. Touro Law Review, 33(1), 211-258.

  • Coyle, E.K. (2017). Press Freedom and Citizens' Right to Know in the 1960s. Journalism History, 43(1), 44-55. doi: 10.1080/00947679.2017.12059165.

  • Coyle, E. & Robinson, E. (2017). Chilling Journalism: Can Newsgathering be Harassment or Stalking? Communication Law and Policy, 22(1), 65-122. doi: 10.1080/10811680.2017.1250571.

  • Coyle, E. & Dahmen, N. (2017). Filtering history: Photojournalists' access to us presidents, 1977 to 2009. American Journalism, 34(3), 333-352. doi: 10.1080/08821127.2017.1344062.