How Journalists Think About the First Amendment Vis-à-Vis Their Coverage of Hate Groups

Gregory Perreault, Jonathan Peters, Brett Johnson, Leslie Klein


This study, based on in-depth interviews with U.S.-based journalists (n = 18), explores the increasingly fraught circumstances of reporting on hate groups. We examine how journalists think about the First Amendment vis-à-vis their coverage of such groups. Through the lens of media ecology and First Amendment principles and theories, we argue ultimately that journalists who cover hate groups use the First Amendment to identify their place in the journalistic environment.


First Amendment, hate groups, hate speech, media ecology, journalism ecology, and role enactment

Full Text: