FOR RELEASE: February 6, 2024

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Vienna, Va., February 6, 2024 – The Media Institute’s major new initiative “The Madison Project: Free Speech and Press in American Democracy” has released its first policy paper, which stresses the vital role trusted journalism must play in the future of democracy.

“Media Outlets: The Bedrock of Our Democracy” is authored by Curtis LeGeyt, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters.  The paper is based on keynote remarks he delivered when The Madison Project was officially launched.

“Our nation is at a crucial crossroads where the trust, integrity, and authenticity of journalism is at stake,” LeGeyt warns.  “Whether one is a journalist, policymaker, media executive, or advocate, it is imperative to dedicate oneself to upholding the ideals of our First Amendment.”

“Given the divisiveness in Congress and potential tsunami of political attacks that will accompany the upcoming election season, America’s leadership may need to come from our newsrooms delivered in the form of facts,” he writes.

The Madison Project is a far-reaching effort of the Institute that 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 as the 2024 elections loom.  Its Steering Committee is chaired by noted First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams.

This initial policy paper by Curtis LeGeyt sets the tone for the many Madison Project work products and activities to follow throughout the year.

“Curtis’s paper captures the spirit of The Madison Project and reflects its philosophy that trusted media outlets are the bastions of a free press – the bedrock of our democracy – which must be defended and enabled to flourish if this noble experiment in governance is to endure,” said Institute President Richard T. Kaplar.

The Madison Project is underwritten by foundations, corporations, and others with an interest in media and communications, the First Amendment, and the preservation of American democracy.  Support is provided in part by Verizon, LG Electronics, and Wiley Rein LLP.  For more information about underwriting opportunities, contact Richard T. Kaplar at

“Media Outlets: The Bedrock of Our Democracy” is available online at

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

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