Erin Coyle
Erin Coyle
Associate Professor
Office: 215-204-6002
Annenberg Hall, Room 335


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.

Select publications

Coyle, E., Fondren, E., & Richard, J. (Spring 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 .

Coyle, E., & Whitenack, S. (Summer 2019).  Access to 911 recordings: Balancing privacy interests and the public’s right to know about casualties. Communication Law & Policy, 24(3), 307-345.

Coyle, E. (Fall 2018). Turning point: Balancing free press and fair trial rights after Sheppard v. Maxwell. Journalism History, 44(3), 150-161.

Coyle, E. (Winter 2018). Saving human trafficking victims from additional stigma: Privacy versus publication rights related to identifying images. Journal of Human Trafficking, 4(1). 102-104.

Dahmen, N., & Coyle, E. (Winter 2017). Obama White House photos limited by access policies, Newspaper Research Journal, 38(4), 439-448.

Coyle, E., & Dahmen, N. (Summer 2017). Filtering history: An historical analysis of photojournalists’ access to photograph the President of the United States from 1977 to 2009, American Journalism, 34(3), 333-352.

Coyle, E. (Spring 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. (Spring 2017). Press freedom and citizens’ right to know in the 1960s: Sam Ragan’s crusade to provide the public with access to criminal justice information, Journalism History, 43(1), 44-55.

Coyle, E., & Robinson, E. (Winter 2017). Chilling journalism: Can newsgathering be criminal harassment or stalking?, Communication Law &
Policy, 22(1), 65-122.

Coyle, E. (2014). E. L. Godkin’s criticism of the penny press: Antecedents to a legal right to privacy, American Journalism, 31(2), 262-282.

Jeong, Y., & Coyle, E. (2014). What are you worrying about on Facebook and Twitter? An empirical investigation of young social network site users’ privacy perceptions and behaviors, Journal of Interactive Advertising, 14(2), 51-59.

Coyle, E. (2009). Moral duty of publicity: Louis Dembitz Brandeis' crusades for reform in the press and public affairs, Journalism History, 35(3), 162-167.