Ashley Messenger is associate general counsel to NPR, specializing in First Amendment and media law issues. She previously served as editorial counsel to U.S. News & World Report and was the McCormick-Tribune Fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She was also a radio talk show host (KTEG-FM, Albuquerque/Santa Fe).
She is an adjunct faculty member at American University, and also has taught at George Washington University and George Mason University. She has written a textbook explaining First Amendment and media law principles, A Practical Guide to Media Law, under contract with Pearson, scheduled for release in January 2014.
Messenger is a member of the Media Institute's First Amendment Advisory Council; co-chair of the Media Law Resource Center's Pre-Publication/Pre-Broadcast Review Committee; vice chair of the D.C. Bar Media Law Committee; and on the governing board of the ABA Forum on Communications Law. She received a BA in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a JD from Pepperdine University.
Recent publications include: "Can States Use Copyright Law to Restrict the Use of Public Records?", (Communications Lawyer, March 2013); "The Problem with New York Times Co. v. Sullivan," (First Amendment Law Review, Fall 2012); and "What Would a 'Right to Be Forgotten' Mean for U.S. Media?", (Communications Lawyer, June 2012).
Messenger is a frequent speaker on First Amendment and media law topics. Recent presentations include an address to the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for the annual tribute to George Mason, on the importance of the First Amendment, and a talk for the Iowa Newspaper Foundation on modern copyright law and fair use; in addition, she moderated a panel at Columbia University on censorship and free press in Latin America. She will be on a panel at the annual AEJMC conference on the legal issues related to social media and, in October 2013, will be a panelist at the University of North Carolina School of Law First Amendment Law Review Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. She is particularly interested in how philosophical principles relate to the interpretation of the First Amendment.