Associate Professor, Director Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies
Research and Creative Interests
- Media law
- First Amendment
- confidential news sources
- anonymous speakers
- media ethics
- press freedom
Hello, my name is Anthony Fargo. I am an associate professor in The Media School and the director of the Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies. My research interests focus on media law and policy issues.
My primary interest has been the legal protection of journalists’ sources of information, including both confidential and non-confidential sources. More recently, I’ve been examining the right to publish anonymously both online and offline. One of my current projects is examining whether the Supreme Court’s recognition of that right could offer a new path to protecting journalists’ sources by shifting the focus to the source’s right to speak anonymously to a reporter, rather than the reporter’s right to shield her sources.
I also have been branching out recently to study a more philosophical question: whether the digitalization and globalization of communication through the internet and our increasing reliance on social media for news and opinion suggests that we should re-examine our rationales for protecting freedom of expression.
I have worked on international media law in issues in conjunction with the International Press Institute in Vienna. Graduate students and I have written white papers for IPI on criminal defamation laws and their chilling effect on speech and press rights. We have also produced a white paper on best practices and legal issues regarding news organizations’ hosting of anonymous comments on their websites. Although I’ve not written on the issue, I have a strong interest in laws affecting access to government information. I also begun to develop an interest in cybersecurity, primarily in regard to how to protect journalists’ sensitive information from hackers and government agents.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. My contact information is in my profile on The Media School website.
I joined Indiana University in 2004 and was promoted to associate professor in 2008. I am the founding director of the Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies (CIMLAPS). I earned my bachelor’s degree in English and journalism at Morehead State University in Kentucky, and my master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Florida, both in mass communication. Before going to graduate school I worked as a reporter at The Daily Independent in Ashland, Ky., and as a desk editor at The Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, Ky., The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla., and The Orlando Sentinel, where I also was a copy desk chief for the regional desk. My research interests focus on media law and policy, more specifically the law as it affects the relationships between journalists and confidential sources. More recently I have been studying legal and policy responses to anonymous communication online from a global perspective. My scholarly work has been published in Communication Law and Policy, Free Speech Yearbook, the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Newspaper Research Journal, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, The University of Arkansas-Little Rock Law Review, the William Mitchell Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Journalism and Communication Monographs, the Journal of Media Law (UK), the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, the North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology, and In Medias Res (Hungary). I was the head of the Law Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in 2005-06. I am on the board of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government. I was an academic visitor at Oxford University’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in 2013, studying global law and policy pertaining to anonymity offline and online. In June 2015 I was one of 20 experts from around the world who met with David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of expression, to offer advice on his drafting of a report for the U.N. General Assembly about the protection of confidential sources and whistleblowers.