Event Celebrates Free Speech Week Taking Place Across America Oct. 17-23

FOR RELEASE: October 18, 2022

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Vienna, Va., October 18, 2022 – The Media Institute will bestow awards on Lester Holt, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” and anchor of “Dateline NBC,” and renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns at its annual “Free Speech America” Gala on Oct. 19.  The virtual event will start at 8 p.m. ET.

Lester Holt will receive the Freedom of Speech Award in recognition of his storied journalistic career that has taken him to breaking news events across the globe, embodying the principles of free speech and a free press.  The award will be presented by NBC News correspondent and veteran journalist Harry Smith.

Ken Burns, who has been making documentary films for more than 40 years, will receive the American Horizon Award for his visionary leadership as America’s storyteller and his impactful collaboration with PBS.  Presenting the award will be Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington will be the Featured Speaker at the virtual event.  The master of ceremonies will be noted communications attorney and Media Institute Board Chairman Richard E. Wiley of Wiley Rein LLP.

The “Free Speech America” Gala will be the Institute’s signature event marking Free Speech Week, Oct. 17-23.

Free Speech Week (FSW) is the nationwide annual celebration of America’s constitutional guarantees of free speech and freedom of the press.  The event celebrates these precious freedoms with no political, partisan, or ideological agenda.

Media organizations, schools and universities, civic groups, and various organizations around the country are celebrating free speech in their own ways this week.

The Media Institute created Free Speech Week in 2005 and continues to publicize free speech themes and activities through the FSW website, www.freespeechweek.org.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment. For more information, visit the Institute online at www.mediainstitute.org.

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