National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Eric Newton: Why we must champion the First Amendment in the digital age

Today, Knight Foundation announced its largest journalism grant ever in creating the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. The institute will seek to understand and explain what First Amendment law is and should be in the digital age, but more than that, it will go to court to preserve and expand free expression.

Why? Because America sorely needs new First Amendment champions. Half the news leaders recently polled in a Knight-funded survey said the news industry is no longer prepared to defend the First Amendment. Attacks on our freedoms are escalating, and changing technology will bring new waves of cases. (Police can’t confiscate a printing press or shut down a broadcast studio. Why can they take your cellphone?)  Continue…