ARLINGTON, VA – Free Speech Week (FSW) kicks off today, Oct. 17, and will run through Sunday, Oct. 23.  Universities, schools, media organizations, and community groups across the nation will conduct events and projects aimed at recognizing the importance of free speech in its many forms.

The week-long commemorative event, now in its seventh year, seeks to raise awareness of free speech and a free press throughout the country in all segments of the population.  Formerly called “National Freedom of Speech Week,” the event boasts a completely redesigned website at FreeSpeechWeek.org.

Among prominent media “Partnering Organizations” are the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation.  Media groups include national trade associations, newspapers, and local TV stations.

Colleges and universities from around the country are participating in a variety of ways.  FSW gives professors an opportunity to discuss free speech and the First Amendment with their students and at campus-wide events.  The week has proved especially popular with professors of communications and law.

Media outlets, schools at all levels, and civic groups can join the celebration by registering online at the FSW website, FreeSpeechWeek.org.  There is no charge to register.  The FSW site also includes ideas on how to celebrate and information about current and prior years’ activities.

Free Speech Week is intended to be a unifying celebration of speech freedoms, bringing people together regardless of politics or ideology.  Its goal is to raise public awareness of First Amendment rights, rather than advance any political or policy agenda.

The Media Institute serves as coordinator and clearinghouse for the event.  Information about The Media Institute can be found at www.mediainstitute.org.

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