Robert Drechsel holds the James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics and is director of the School’s Center for Journalism Ethics. He also holds an affiliated faculty appointment in the Law School. Drechsel served as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1991-98 and then for a year as interim chair of what is now the Legal Studies major. His research and teaching focus primarily on media law, the relationship between media law and media ethics, and media coverage of the judiciary.
His scholarship has focused on tort and constitutional law affecting mass communication, and on various aspects of media coverage of courts. Most recently, the former has focused on the relationship between law, ethics and professionalism, the latter on local television and newspaper coverage of the justice system. Drechsel is the author of one book, News Making in the Trial Courts, and articles in a variety of legal and communication journals. His work on journalist-source interaction in trial courts has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.