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First Five by the Freedom Forum Institute

The First Amendment protects five core freedoms that are under attack every day — from the left, the right, and everywhere in between. First Five strives to foster interest in First Amendment news and provide a platform for discussion among enthusiasts and activists. Column is available weekly for NNA member newspapers to reprint. 

5 ANNIVERSARIES THIS JUNE THAT DEFINED OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

The Supreme Court wraps up its term each June, making this a big month for rulings with significant impact. The court’s June rulings have sometimes defined and refined what the First Amendment protects. ...

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HOW THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTS ANONYMOUS SPEECH ONLINE

Anonymity can protect privacy and keep people like whistleblowers and activists safe. It can also shield bad behavior. Jeff Kosseff, author of “The United States of Anonymous: How the First Amendment ...

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PERSPECTIVE: POST-ROE PREDICTIONS FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Faith groups in the U.S. are sharply divided over abortion. Will striking down Roe v. Wade, which appears likely according to a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, offer an opportunity to find compromise ...

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FIRST AMENDMENT FACTS: GRADUATION CEREMONIES, PRAYER AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

It’s graduation season, and some graduates may wish to celebrate their accomplishment with acts of faith. Freedom Forum religious freedom coordinator (and recent graduate) Hannah Santos looks at ...

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PERSPECTIVE: How a 40-year-old Supreme Court ruling may quash the book banning wave

A rise in school boards and lawmakers seeking to remove books from public schools is raising questions of whether book banning is constitutional. A nearly forgotten, 40-year-old Supreme Court case could ...

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The Roe V. Wade leak shows the benefit of a free press

The leak of a draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that protected abortion rights has sparked nationwide protest, punditry and questions about press protections. ...

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Alberto Ibargüen ⁠— a vision to reinvent local news

As a lawyer, publisher, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and longtime champion of journalism and the arts, Alberto Ibargüen, this year’s recipient of the Al Neuharth ...

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HOW STOP AAPI HATE INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED ACTION

March 2020 saw the beginning of a rapid spread in the U.S. of COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China. Along with it came a dramatic escalation of anti-Asian rhetoric, discrimination and incidents of ...

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Eric Treene ⁠— upholding religious freedom for all

A Muslim community in Tennessee faced backlash over the building of a new mosque. A Rastafarian man was punished because prison rules didn’t accommodate the hairstyle of his religious practice. Two ...

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Nikole Hannah-Jones ⁠— reviving voices lost to history and empowering communities today

This month, explore how the First Amendment heroes we’ll honor at the 2022 Free Expression Awards have used their rights to advocate for others – starting with a journalist who faced academic ...

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PERSPECTIVE: How Gen Z activists are living and protecting the First Amendment

Today’s kids and young adults have faced an onslaught of societal challenges. But Gen Z activists aren’t giving in to fear. They’re exercising their First Amendment rights to push for ...

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PERSPECTIVE: How the Supreme Court could rule on key religious rights questions this term

The First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion exists in tension with itself. Government must permit free exercise of religion but cannot endorse specific religious practice, which would ...

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PERSPECTIVE: Free speech and press need freedom of information

It’s Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of open government. Freedom Forum First Amendment specialist Kevin Goldberg explains why freedom of information laws enhance our First Amendment rights to ...

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PERSPECTIVE: HOW the Supreme Court could rule on key free speech questions this term

Beyond the words we say, free speech can also include expressions like signs and flags. So how much can cities regulate signs? Whose expression is it when flags fly at city hall? The Supreme Court is currently ...

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5 things to know about Gen Z and the First Amendment

Young people exercise their First Amendment rights in new ways in every generation. Today’s youth, Gen Z, have a few things in common with older generations. In other ways, they stand out in the ...

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PERSPECTIVE: Why arguments for regulating social media fail the First Amendment test

Some users who are frustrated with social media moderation – too much or too little – are asking the government to step in. Freedom Forum First Amendment specialist Kevin Goldberg explains ...

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Power shift training improves newsroom culture – and coverage

Remaking newsrooms from the inside out can tackle two problems at once. News leaders who have participated in the Power Shift Project’s Workplace Integrity program report that adopting the curriculum ...

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PERSPECTIVE: Unpacking cancel culture ⁠— censorship, civil right or something else?

There’s no shortage of passionate opinions about cancel culture, but there isn’t agreement on what the phenomenon is either, says Freedom Forum Fellow Lata Nott, unpacking how cancel culture ...

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PERSPECTIVE: What if the nation’s founders had been able to tweet?

If they’d had access to platforms like Twitter, would the Founding Fathers have tweeted their views? Would they have been banned from social media or imprisoned for their posts? Gene Policinski, ...

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PERSPECTIVE: Reclaiming religious freedom from today’s culture wars

While today’s culture wars have made the term “religious freedom” divisive and confusing, ensuring this First Amendment freedom for all is key to coexistence in a diverse society, says ...

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