Sharon D. Docter

Sharon D. Docter, Ph.D.

(805) 493-3850
Swenson 206


An attorney with a doctorate in communication theory and research, Dr. Docter brings a unique dimension to the Communication Department. Her research examines the way in which social factors influence the design of new communication technology and policy governing its use.  She also writes about the way in which the regulation of the Internet impacts freedom of expression.  Dr. Docter has received the President's Award for Teaching Excellence.  She also has twice been elected by the senior class as Professor of the Year, in 1999 and again in 2010.  Dr. Docter teaches courses in communication theories, freedom of expression and legal issues and new media. 


Ph.D., Communication Theory and Research, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California.

J.D., UCLA School of Law.

M.Ed., UCLA School of Education.

B.A., English, UCLA.

Member, State Bar of California.

Member, Phi Beta Kappa.



Docter, S. (2010).  Blogging and journalism:  Extending shield law protection to new media forms.  Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 54, 588-602.

Docter, S. (2005).  The regulation of indecency in electronic communications Revisited:  The CDA, COPA and CIPA.  In S.J. Drucker and G. Gumpert (Eds.) Real Law @ Virtual Space (2nd ed).  Cresskill, NJ:  Hampton Press, Inc.

Metzger, M. and Docter, S.  (2003).  Public opinion and policy initiatives for online privacy protection. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media47, 350-374.

Docter, S., Dutton, W.H. and Elberse, A. (1999).  An American Democracy Network:Factors Shaping the Future of On-line Political Campaigns. Parliamentary Affairs52, 535-552. 

Docter, S. & Dutton, W.H. (1999).  The Social Shaping of Digital Democracy:  The Democracy Network.  In B.D. Loader and B. Hague (Eds.) Digital Democracy. London:  Routledge.

 Docter, S. (1999).  The Regulation of Indecency in Electronic Communications.  In S.J. Drucker and G. Gumpert (Eds.) Real Law @ Virtual Space.  Cresskill, NJ:  Hampton Press, Inc.

 Docter, S. & Dutton, W.H. (1998).  The First Amendment On-Line:  Santa Monica’s Public Electronic Network.  In R. Tsagarousianou, D. Tambini and C. Bryan (Eds.) Cyberdemocracy:  Technology, Cities and Civic Networks. London: Routledge.

 Katz, E., Docter, S., Gusek, J., Metzger, M., O’Connell, J. and Stokes, J. (1998).  Press-conversation-opinion-action:  Gabriel’s Tarde’s public sphere. In J. Lautman and B. Lecuyer (Eds.) Paul Lazarsfeld.  Paris:  L’Harmattan.

 Docter, S. (1992).  An alternative justification for regulating broadcast indecency. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 36, 245-247.


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