FOR RELEASE: July 2, 2015

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., July 2, 2015 – Senator Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), will serve as Chairman of the 2015 Advisory Council for Free Speech Week, the nation’s premier celebration of free speech.

Free Speech Week (FSW) is an annual event celebrated nationwide during the third week of October to promote and protect free speech in America.  This year’s event will take place Oct. 19-25. Free Speech Week will feature a wide range of events, programs, media promotions, and social media activity conducted by many participating organizations, schools, and individuals.

Sen. Smith took the helm of the NAB in 2009 after representing his home state of Oregon in the U.S. Senate for two terms. Before that he served in the Oregon State Senate, becoming president of that body after only three years.  Since joining the NAB, Sen. Smith has successfully guided the broadcasting industry through an era of unprecedented challenges from broadband and wireless interests.  He has served on the FSW Advisory Council since 2013.

“We are honored to have such a strong First Amendment advocate heading the FSW Advisory Council,” said Media Institute President Patrick Maines. “As the leader of our country’s broadcasting industry, Senator Smith is keenly aware of the importance of free speech and the free flow of information for the good of our society and the well being of its citizens,” he said.

Senator Smith will be joined on the Free Speech Week Advisory Council by several other leaders in the media and entertainment industries, including:

  • Charles (“Chip”) Deale, executive director, National Press Photographers Association;
  • Senator Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America;
  • George Freeman, executive director, Media Law Resource Center;
  • Caroline Little, president and CEO, Newspaper Association of America;
  • Walter B. McCormick, Jr., president and CEO, United States Telecom Association; and
  • Former FCC chairman Michael Powell, president and CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation that fosters freedom of speech, a competitive media and communications industry, and excellence in journalism. Free Speech Week was created in 2005 by the Institute and the NAB Education Foundation.  The Institute continues to promote FSW and to manage its website, For more information about The Media Institute, visit the Institute online at

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