Stephen Bates

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 Review Journal
Clark County and the Metropolitan Police Department spent more than $600,000 of taxpayer money in recent years on lengthy, unsuccessful legal battles to hide public information from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and its readers.
In the late 19th century, an Eastern physician might prescribe camphor, opium, carbolic acid or a one-way ticket to Southern California. Climatotherapy, as it was called, held that an especially healthful climate (“salubrious” was the favored term) could cure asthma, tuberculosis, rheumatism and many other ailments.
Las Vegas Review Journal
The Nevada attorney general’s office took months to produce public records that the state’s other constitutional offices promptly released, raising questions about why the state’s top law enforcement office continues to delay the release of important documents that help taxpayers understand its function.
This week’s uproar over Tucker Carlson’s and Don Lemon’s surprise departures from high-profile cable news jobs shows the limitations of First Amendment protections, according to legal experts.

Articles Featuring Stephen Bates

A man stocking shelfs at the food pantry
Campus News | December 8, 2021

A collection of news stories featuring research and accomplishment at UNLV.

Student sitting outside on a bench
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.