Stephen Bates

Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies
Expertise: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Privacy, The Constitution & First Amendment Law, Drones and Legal Issues


Stephen Bates is an associate professor in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV. He teaches classes on free speech, censorship, privacy, and media politics.

His research focuses on the First Amendment. He is the author of An Aristocracy of Critics: Luce, Hutchins, Niebuhr, and the Committee That Redefined Freedom of the Press (Yale University Press), as well as books on the history of journalism, political advertising, and religious freedom. His articles have appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication QuarterlyCommunication Law and PolicyAmerican JournalismJournalism History, and the International Journal of Communication, as well as the Washington Post MagazineAmerican Heritage, the Wall Street Journal, and the Wilson Quarterly, where he spent nine years as literary editor. He holds an A.B. and a J.D. from Harvard University.

A former board member of the ACLU of Nevada, Bates is a member of the advisory board of the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV. He has been a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies, and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy [photo by Martha Stewart Photography].


  • J.D., Harvard University
  • A.B., Harvard University

Stephen Bates In The News

Las Vegas Sun
January 25, 2021
The Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol moved Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even Snapchat and Pinterest, among other social media platforms, to dump former President Donald Trump for fomenting insurrection.
January 22, 2021
A Capitol Hill lawmaker is asking the director of the FBI to investigate whether Henderson-based Parler helped extremists plan and carry out the deadly attack in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
January 12, 2021
Henderson-based conservative social media app Parler is fighting to get back online after Amazon Web Services removed it from its platform Sunday night.
The American Scholar
December 10, 2020
American democracy, always perhaps less sturdy than we imagined, has shown itself of late to be alarmingly fragile. Its survival depends on a number of elements currently in short supply: elected officials who abide not just by the law but by long-observed Constitutional principles and norms of behavior; a body politic animated more by the better angels of our nature than by our baser instincts or a cynical grasping after power; and, finally, on some minimum number of agreed-upon facts, and a shared sense of reality, among the citizenry.

Articles Featuring Stephen Bates

Campus News | February 3, 2021
A collection of news stories from the new year highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.
"I Voted" stickers
Campus News | January 5, 2021
A collection of stories highlighting UNLV experts and their analysis of all things politics in 2020.