Freedom of Expression Division

Freedom of Expression Division logo

The Freedom of Expression division of NCA promotes the research and study of the understanding of free expression and the First Amendment. The division provides an academic home for legal, ethical, rhetorical, historical, and other approaches to the study and application of free expression in society. The division welcomes investigation, analysis and dialogue among communication scholars concerned with issues pertaining to free expression.

The division acknowledges achievements in scholarly excellence by awarding the Robert M. O’Neill top paper award as well as the top student paper. The division collaborates with and advocates for the Journal of First Amendment Studies, a peer-reviewed, NCA journal that publishes original essays which make a significant contribution to theory and/or policy on all aspects of free speech. If you would like to join the Freedom of Expression listserv for announcements, discussion and collaboration, please contact any of our division officers below.

Visit the division's Facebook page


  • Chair - Billie Murray
  • Vice Chair - M. Elizabeth Thorpe
  • Vice Chair-Elect - Ben Medeiros
  • Immediate Past Chair - Kevin Johnson
  • Secretary - Mary Hyepock
Legislative Assembly
  • M. Elizabeth Thorpe
  • Billie Murray

FED Membership 

Official count taken each January.

108th Annual Convention -- New Orleans, LA -- Nov. 17 - 20, 2022

Convention Calls
  • FED Call --Deadline: Thu, 3/31 2022 3:00 AM EDT
Award Calls
Business Meeting Minutes
Interest Group Election