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National Freedom of Speech Week Underway
Oct. 19 – 25, 2009

National and Local Groups, Schools Recognize Free Speech and Press

FOR RELEASE: October 20, 2009

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute


Arlington, Va., Oct. 20, 2009 – National Freedom of Speech Week (NFSW) is in full swing, with a wide range of organizations and schools around the country marking the week of Oct. 19-25 in various ways.  

Now in its fifth year, the week-long commemorative event celebrates freedom of speech in all its forms, as well as freedom of the press.  

Partnering Organizations include professional societies, trade associations, media and First Amendment groups, and educational institutions.  In 2009, these include national organizations representing broadcasting, cable, newspapers, and consumer electronics.   

In addition, local media outlets and other groups are encouraged to participate at the community level.  A fuller list of Partnering Organizations can be found at the NFSW website,    Groups wishing to participate can register online there at no charge.

The Media Institute serves as coordinator and clearinghouse for the event.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, The Media Institute kicked off National Freedom of Speech Week with its annual Friends & Benefactors Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.  The black-tie event honored Rep. Rick Boucher, who has championed a federal "shield law" for reporters, and Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, an industry visionary and strong supporter of digital free-speech rights. 

National Freedom of Speech Week is intended to be a unifying celebration of free speech, bringing people together regardless of politics or ideology.  Its goal is to raise public awareness of First Amendment rights, rather than advance any political or policy agenda.

Information about The Media Institute can be found at