October 19-25, 2020

Free Speech Week is a yearly,
non-partisan celebration of the value of
free speech and expression.

Free Speech: The Language of America


A Virtual Event  |  October 14, 2020

The Media Institute honored two distinguished awardees at our virtual “Free Speech America” Gala on October 14, 2020: David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation, and Mignon Clyburn, former FCC Commissioner and Acting Chairwoman. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr delivered keynote remarks.

‘FSA’ Gala
2020 Video
Charlie Cook, image by https://www.leadingauthorities.com/meet-speakers-cook-political-report

Luncheon Speakers

Political analyst Charlie Cook offered an information-packed tour de force of the November elections when he addressed the Institute’s virtual Communications Forum luncheon on Sept. 21. Luncheon sponsors …


Issue Watch

The Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee wants to know if social media giants have been providing any data to the presidential


FCC General Counsel Tom Johnson took to the FCC blog Wednesday (Oct. 21) to defend the conclusion that the FCC has the authority to clarify ambiguities in


Top Senate Commerce Committee Republicans have put out a handy guide to understanding Section 230 reform ahead of a hearing Oct. 28 with the


Media & Communications Policy Blog

Informed and thoughtful commentary on a variety of First Amendment and communications policy issues.

First Amendment Values and a Voice for Everyone
By Guest Author David L. Cohen

In the 40 years since The Media Institute began, it’s difficult to recall a national environment quite like the one we’re in today. Basic principles of free speech …


Two hundred and thirty-one years ago this week, Congress passed a collection of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 10 of which would become the Bill of …


From shifting commercial placements to premature newspaper endorsements, …


Free Speech Week Is Underway Oct. 19 – 25, 2020

Free Speech Week (FSW) kicks off Monday, Oct. 19, and will continue through Sunday, Oct. 25. Media groups, schools, universities, and community groups will use this week to promote free speech and freedom of the press through their own activities, both in person and virtual. Individuals can celebrate using social media.


Media Institute To Recognize David Cohen and Mignon Clyburn At ‘Free Speech America’ Gala for Promoting ‘A Voice for Everyone’

The Media Institute will bestow awards on David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corporation, and Mignon Clyburn, former FCC commissioner and acting chair, at its annual “Free Speech America” Gala on Wednesday, Oct. 14.


Rep. G. K. Butterfield and NBCU’s Cesar Conde To Present Awards at Institute’s Virtual Gala Oct. 14

A life-long civil rights defender and an industry leader in building Spanish-language media will present awards at The Media Institute’s “Free Speech America” Virtual Gala on Oct. 14.


Media Institute Launches Digital Media Center

The Media Institute has unveiled a new program designed to bring clarity to key issues at the heart of today’s digital revolution.


Stuart Brotman Charts Course for Digital Privacy Policy in New Book

“There can be no doubt now that digital privacy protection deserves more focus as a national policy priority,” concludes Stuart N. Brotman in his latest book, Privacy’s Perfect Storm: Digital Policy for Post-Pandemic Times.


Recent Court Briefs and Letters

The Institute participated with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other media groups recently in the following friend-of-the-court briefs and letters.

Ukraine Relief v. Gurzhiy
California Retraction Statute Applies to Online Weekly Publication


Letter to Los Angeles County Sheriff
Charges Against Reporter Covering Protest Should Be Dropped


Letter to U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court’s Live Audio Access Should Continue During Closure


BH Media Group, Inc. v. Clarke
Witnesses’ Right of Access Applies to Entirety of Execution Proceedings


Media Institute Celebrates 40th Anniversary

View this short video about the Institute – past, present, future.

In celebration of #FreeSpeechWeek, join us Oct. 22 at 2pm ET, as we talk with Jack Weinberg, whose act of civil disobedience 56 years ago helped launch the highly influential and revolutionary Free Speech Movement.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3nX8d8u #FirstFiveNow

journalists “must double down on taking steps to inform voters, and the public writ large, about what Watergate-era journalist Carl Bernstein calls “the best obtainable version of the truth.” Great article by @RTDNA Exec. Director @MurrowNYC https://twitter.com/rtdna/status/1318567734863691776


How can journalists demonstrate why free speech is essential to democracy? @MurrowNYC shares strategies for #FreeSpeechWeek and beyond.

Free Speech Week Is Underway Oct. 19 – 25, 2020 https://www.mediainstitute.org/2020/10/19/free-speech-week-is-underway-oct-19-25-2020/

Happy #FreeSpeechWeek! Created (16 years ago!) to promote the value of #FreedomOfSpeech & #PressFreedom, this non-partisan event is intended to be a unifying celebration, as #1A rights are shared by all Americans. For more: http://freespeechweek.org

Kudos to one of our favorite policy leaders, former @FCC chair @MignonClyburn — a champion for #FreeSpeech and consumers — on her honor tonight receiving the 2020 #FreedomOfSpeechAward from @TheMediaInst. #AmericasFinest #FreeSpeechAmericaGala @NCTAitv

Congratulations once again to David Cohen @Comcast who received our American Horizon Award & @MignonClyburn recipient of our Freedom of Speech Award!

Congrats to our great friend #DavidCohen @comcast on receiving #AmericanHorizonAward tonight from @TheMediaInst for his commitment to #FreeSpeech & #BroadbandAccess! #WellDeserved #CablesFinest #ComcastInternetEssentials #ClosingTheDigitalDivide #FreeSpeechAmericaGala @NCTAitv

Happy to be tuned in tonight to @TheMediaInst #FreeSpeechAmericaGala honoring #FreeSpeech and #PressFreedom — with this beautiful #MediaInstitute floral arrangement on hand. @NCTAitv is proud to be a sponsor! #FreeSpeechWeek2020

First Amendment Trends

A collection of timely articles and essays on current developments by members of The Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council.


The Internet’s Enduring Free Speech Legacy
April 18, 2019 | By Guest Authors: Stuart N. Brotman and Shiela Hawkins

Old Tools in Different Hands: Speech Regulation on Campus
September 27, 2018 | By Greg Lukianoff and Adam Goldstein