210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279

Tip Sheet

Not for publication 

July 6, 2005 -- No. 305

Media law experts can help reporters
covering confidential sources case

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill media law experts Dr. Ruth Walden and Dr. Michael Hoefges are available to journalists covering the current controversy over whether news organizations should reveal the names of their confidential sources if ordered to do so by the courts. Both professors in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, they can provide commentary and analysis on the dilemma currently facing The New York Times and Time magazine.

Walden wrote "Insult Laws: An Insult to Press Freedom," a worldwide study of insult laws that was commissioned by the World Press Freedom Committee. Her research and teaching interests are mass communication law, First Amendment theory and media ethics.

In October 2000, Walden delivered the U.S. statement on freedom of expression as a member of the official U.S. delegation to the annual human rights implementation meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. She wrote "Mass Communication Law in North Carolina," several book chapters, and articles in Journalism & Mass Communication Monographs, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and Journalism Educator.

Hoefges specializes in media law and advertising media strategy. Before entering academia, he practiced law for eight years in Florida.

Hoefges has written or co-written articles published in Communication Law and Policy, Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal, the Journal of Marketing and Public Policy and the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Forum on Communications Law) and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (Advertising, Law and Public Relations Divisions).

Walden can be reached at (919) 962-4088 or; Hoefges, at (919) 843-0971 or


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School of Journalism and Mass Communication contact: John Kuka, (919) 966-3323,

News Services contacts: Print, L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589; broadcast, Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595