Joseph Russomanno, Professor

Office: Room 371
Phone: 602.496.6602

Curriculum Vitae

Mass Communication Law, JMC 402
Media Law, MCO 503
Freedom of Expression Theory, MCO 712

Joseph Russomanno Joseph Russomanno joined the Cronkite School in 1994. A native of Colorado, he earned a master’s degree in journalism, emphasizing broadcasting, from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where his work emphasized First Amendment theory and mass media law.

His decade-long career in broadcast journalism included working at four different TV stations, two in St. Louis and two in Denver. He worked as a news reporter, news writer, newscast producer and executive producer. His on-site assignments included the coverage of the 1987 Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Washington, D.C., Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena, Calif., and Super Bowl XXII in San Diego. He received several awards for his work as a broadcast journalist including a regional Emmy award.

Since joining the Cronkite School faculty, Russomanno’s teaching and research have largely focused on First Amendment law and theory. His publication record includes four books and in-depth research articles appearing in journals such as Communication Law and Policy, Hamline Law Review, Communications and the Law, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and the Journal of Communication Inquiry. He also has written book chapters for Mass Communication in the Information Age and Communication and the Law, as well as opinion columns that have appeared in The Arizona Republic and He has presented numerous papers and conceived and moderated panel discussions at professional conferences, and has been interviewed dozens of times by the news media, usually on matters related to media law and/or First Amendment issues. He is also a faculty affiliate in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Russomanno’s international work includes invited appearances at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal; the Oxford Round Table on Freedom of Speech and Press at Oxford University in Oxford, England; and La Universidad del Noroeste and Televisa in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Selected Publications:
Joseph Russomanno. Speech Freedom on Campus: Past, Present and Future (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2021).

“How Buffy’s ‘Hush” Speaks to Censorship,” Slate-Future Tense / Free Speech Project, Dec. 7, 2020,

“The Best Class I Ever Led,” Transformations, Sept. 23, 2020,

“Tribalism on Campus: Factions, iGen and the Threat to Free Speech,” Communication Law and Policy, 24:4 (Autumn 2019): 539-586,

“Speech On Campus: How America’s Crisis in Confidence Is Eroding Free Speech Values,” Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 45:2 (Winter 2018): 273-300

Tortured Logic: A Verbatim Critique of the George W. Bush Presidency (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2011).

Defending the First: Commentary on First Amendment Issues and Cases (Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Publishers, 2005).

Speaking Our Minds: Conversations With the People Behind Landmark First Amendment Cases (Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Publishers, 2002).