Jonathan Peters

Assistant Professor
Primary office:
Stauffer-Flint Hall, room 205D

Jonathan Peters is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, where he specializes in First Amendment law and media policy. He holds affiliate research positions exploring Internet governance and digital privacy, respectively, in the KU Information & Telecommunication Technology Center and the KU Surveillance Studies Research Center. Peters is an attorney and the press freedom correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review, and previously he blogged about free expression for the Harvard Law & Policy Review. He has written about legal issues for EsquireThe Atlantic, Slate, Wired, The Nation and PBS. He also has written about the NHL for Sports Illustrated

In his research, Peters uses a global legal-historical lens to examine issues at the intersection of new media and the law—from the balance of national security and free expression in the era of megaleaks, to the definition of a journalist in the digital age, to the privacy protections available to journalists who store data in the cloud. His current research explores how private Internet companies are writing a significant chapter in the story of free expression by setting and enforcing their own content rules and community guidelines.

Peters is the First Amendment chair of the American Bar Association’s Civil Rights Litigation Committee, and he is the teaching chair of the Law and Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He also chairs the Ohio State Bar Association's Media Law Committee and serves as the KU School of Journalism’s ambassador to the KU Center for Teaching Excellence. Away from campus, Peters is a volunteer attorney for the Student Press Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, specializing in First Amendment cases. And, most importantly, he has a puppy named Brooks, who is the greatest puppy ever.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Journalism, University of Missouri
  • J.D., Ohio State University
  • B.S., Journalism, Ohio University


  • Media law and policy
  • Technology and law
  • Philosophy of journalism
  • Journalism history


Jonathan Peters and Brett Johnson, “Conceptualizing Private Governance in a Networked Society,” North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology (2016, in press).

Jonathan Peters, "The 'Sovereigns of Cyberspace' and State Action: The First Amendment's Application (or Lack Thereof) to Internet Content Hosts," William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal (2016, in press).

Jonathan Peters, “Considering and Constraining the Power of Content Hosts,” in Bastiaan Vanacker and Don Heider (eds.), Ethics of a Digital Age (2016), available here.

Jonathan Peters, “Institutionalizing Press Relations at the Supreme Court: The Origins of the Public Information Office,” Missouri Law Review (2015), available here.

Edson C. Tandoc, Jr., and Jonathan Peters, “One journalist, two roles: What happens when journalists also work as media coordinators?” Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism (2014), available here.

Jonathan Peters, “All the News That’s Fit to Leak,” in Charles N. Davis and David Cuillier (eds.), Transparency 2.0: Digital Data and Privacy in a Wired World (2014), available here.

Jonathan Peters and Charles N. Davis, “When Open Government and Academic Freedom Collide,” First Amendment Law Review (2014), available here.

Jonathan Peters and Edson C. Tandoc, Jr., “‘People who aren’t really reporters at all, who have no professional qualifications’: Defining a Journalist and Deciding Who May Claim the Privileges,” N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation & Public Policy (2013), available here.

Jonathan Peters, “WikiLeaks Would Not Qualify to Claim Federal Reporter’s Privilege in Any Form,” Federal Communications Law Journal (2011), available here.

Jonathan Peters, “WikiLeaks, the First Amendment, and the Press,” Harvard Law & Policy Review (2011), available here