FOR RELEASE: December 9, 2020

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., December 9, 2020 – Digital advertising has fueled the explosive growth in Internet content including news and information, and thus plays a significant role in furthering First Amendment principles of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

That is the conclusion of an issue brief released today by the Digital Media Center of The Media Institute.  The brief, titled “The Role of Targeted Advertising in Supporting First Amendment Principles,” is authored by Media Institute President Richard Kaplar.

The brief notes that advertisers pay a premium for “targeted” digital ads, which are directed to particular consumers based on their individual data, thereby providing a larger revenue pool to support online content.

“Digital publishers and the online advertisers that support them have given the United States – and the world – access to more news, information, entertainment, and personal expression than ever before in history,” Kaplar writes.

Therefore, he concludes, any attempts by legislators or other government officials to restrict online speech or the advertising that makes it possible – whether directly or indirectly – must answer to the First Amendment.

The issue paper is available on The Media Institute’s website.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation working to advance sound communications policy, freedom of speech, and excellence in journalism.  The Digital Media Center is a program of The Media Institute that brings clarity to key issues at the heart of today’s digital revolution.  For more information, visit the Institute online at

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