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W. Wat Hopkins

W. Wat Hopkins, Professor

W. Wat Hopkins, Professor
W. Wat Hopkins, Professor

School of Communication
103 Shanks Hall
181 Turner Street NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-9833 |

W. Wat Hopkins is a professor in the School of Communication. 

  • News Writing
  • Reporting
  • Communication Law
  • Free Speech
  • Free Press
  • PhD, University of North Carolina
  • MA, University of North Carolina
  • BA, Western Carolina University
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Virginia Coalition for Open Government
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Top Three Faculty Paper in Law, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, annual convention, Kansas City, MO., July 30 – Aug. 2, 2003.
  • Top Faculty Paper in Law, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Southeast Colloquium, March 3-6, 1994, Charleston, S.C.
  • Henry M. Phillips Research Grant in Jurisprudence, American Philosophical Society, 1993.


Mass Communication Law in Virginia, 3d ed. Stillwater, Okla.: New Forums Press, 2001, 210 pp. 

Mr. Justice Brennan and Freedom of Expression. New York: Praeger, 1991, 194 pp.

Communication and the Law, 2014 Edition. W. Wat Hopkins, ed. Northport, Ala.: Vision Press, under contract. Published each January since 1998.

Journal Articles

“Snyder v. Phelps and the Unfortunate Death of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as a Speech-Based Tort,” 3 Journal of Media Law and Ethics 1-36 (2012).

“When Does F*** Not Mean F***?: FCC v. Fox Television Stations and a Call for Protecting Emotive Speech,” 64 Federal Communications Law Journal 1-45


“Snyder v. Phelps, Private Persons and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: A Chance for the Supreme Court to Set Things Right,” 9 First Amendment Law Review 149-92 (Fall 2010).

“Cross Burning Revisited: What the Supreme Court Should Have Done in Virginia v. Black and Why it Didn’t,” 26 Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal (COMM/ENT) 269-315 (No. 2, 2004).

Select Media Mentions

News Stories