About Free Speech Week
Free Speech Week is a nonpartisan, non-ideological event designed to raise awareness and celebrate the importance of free speech and a free press in the United States. This year Free Speech Week is October 16-22, 2023.
News/Media Alliance is a Free Speech Week partner, along with a variety of organizations and educational institutions that believe in the value of freedom of speech and a free press. Click here to view a list of Free Speech Week Partners.
Partners offer resources and host activities during Free Speech Week, including webinars, quizzes, contests and more. Click here for ideas on how your organization can participate in Free Speech Week.
For more information about Free Speech Week, visit www.freespeechweek.org
Free Speech/Free Press Content
Supreme Court Watch: Free Press Focus (2023) – For decades, the Supreme Court’s decisions have both extended and restricted free press protections through the interpretation of the First Amendment in cases that have come before it. The Court continues to hear such cases to this day. The News/Media Alliance monitors these cases and participates in amicus briefs where appropriate, in an effort to protect the rights of news and magazine media.
Alliance Opposes Bill Restricting Journalists’ Right of Access (July 11, 2022) – The Alliance joined a letter by the National Press Photographers Association asking Arizona Gov. Douglas Ducey to veto a recently passed Bill that makes it illegal to film a law enforcement officer within eight feet of the officer without permission, explaining that the bill likely “violates not only the free speech and press clauses of the First Amendment,” but also “runs counter to the ‘clearly established right’ to photograph and record police officers performing their official duties in a public place.”
“Why Students Need the Full First Amendment,” Free Speech Week column by News/Media Alliance Fall/Winter 2020 Alliance communications intern, Jennifer Nehrer (2020) – “In order to ensure that student voices are heard, schools should not limit the freedoms of speech that are given to citizens outside of the schoolyard.”
“Facts Are the Language of America,” Free Speech Week op-ed by News/Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern (2018) – “To fortify and flourish, we need to protect free speech. Journalists must be able to do their jobs without fear of censorship so that readers have unfettered access to the facts. Free speech is our most important tool in challenging abuses of power.”
“News Media Are the First and Most Effective Means for Exercising Our Five First Amendment Freedoms,” National Newspaper Week op-ed by News/Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern (2019) – “Through news media, citizens can express themselves and advocate for their causes, whether they be political, religious or just personally meaningful to us; share our thoughts and ideas; petition the government; and plan assemblies. News media can be our own personal amplifier for sharing our unique perspectives, as well as a wider lens through which to view and engage with our communities.”
The PRESS Act
The bi-partisan Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying Act, or “PRESS Act,” (H.R. 4330) would establish reasonable ground rules for when the government can obtain confidential source information from the media and their third-party service providers. The Act was originally introduced in 2021 by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) following reports that the Department of Justice was misusing statutes to obtain information from and about journalists. The safeguards enumerated in the PRESS Act are critical to supporting and maintaining a free and independent press.
Statement: House Passes PRESS Act (September 19, 2022)
The Journalist Protection Act
On May 3, 2023, World Press Freedom Day, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA-14) introduced the Journalist Protection Act in the House and Senate. The bill would strengthen protections for journalists by making intentionally harming or intimidating a working journalist a federal crime.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The State of FOIA 2023 (March 2023)
Alliance Supports Government Transparency Under FOIA (September 1, 2022)
Senate Holds FOIA Hearing (March 31, 2022)
DOJ FOIA Guidelines Call for More Transparency (March 16, 2022)
The State of of FOIA Infographic (updated March 15, 2022)
Below are several resources and materials on Free Speech that can be used in your newspaper publications, as well as online and on social media.
Free Speech Week logo and tagline:
Show your support by changing your social media profile image during Free Speech Week.
Download the Free Speech Week social media badge here.
In addition, use the hashtag #freedomspeaks to follow and participate in the conversation about free speech week on Twitter!
Social media graphics
Click to expand, right-click to save.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.