High-Impact Project Will Examine Profound Shifts in Information Flow

FOR RELEASE: October 25, 2023

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Vienna, Va., October 25, 2023 – The Media Institute has announced a major new initiative that will explore the future of free speech, freedom of the press, and the First Amendment in American democracy as the nation heads into Election Year 2024.

“The Madison Project: Free Speech and Free Press in American Democracy” will be the centerpiece of a one-year commemoration of The Media Institute’s upcoming 45th Anniversary in October 2024.

The Madison Project is a timely and high-impact assessment of free speech and free press on the future of American democracy at a time when democracy itself has come perilously close to the brink in America.

The Madison Project will explore the current state of free speech, free press, and the First Amendment in the United States at this pivotal moment in our democracy. The Project will examine these freedoms in social, political, and cultural contexts.

The Madison Project will assess threats and challenges facing free speech and press, examine new forms of communication altering the information landscape, and explore what this could mean for the future of American democracy.

The Madison Project will have three main program elements: (1) An exploration of key free speech and press issues critical to the future of democracy; (2) a reimagined, high-visibility Free Speech Week in October 2024; and (3) publication of an e-book that will be made available to all public libraries nationwide free of charge.

“We’re in the midst of a revolution in the way information is being generated and distributed to promote viewpoints and persuade the citizenry,” said Institute President Richard T. Kaplar. “Social media, disinformation, and artificial intelligence are profoundly changing the nature of communications. This will have far-reaching impacts on the electoral process and society as a whole that we need to address now.”

Kaplar unveiled The Madison Project at The Media Institute’s “Free Speech America” Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 19. The event took place during Free Speech Week, Oct. 16-22.

The Madison Project will offer distinctive insights into the impact of free speech and free press on American democracy today, and chart a course forward to maintain these essential freedoms as the bulwark of our democracy in the face of ongoing threats.

The Madison Project will be underwritten by foundations and corporations with an interest in media and communications, the First Amendment, and the preservation of American democracy. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Richard T. Kaplar at info@mediainstitute.org.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment. Visit the Institute online at www.mediainstitute.org.

# # #