For Immediate Release
Indianapolis, Ind. – Monday, October 21 – The Indiana Broadcasters Association and Hoosier State Press Association are encouraging our members to participate in a Think First public awareness campaign focused on the freedoms guaranteed Americans by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Matching the five freedoms (Speech, Press, Religion, Assemble and Petition) are five video, audio, and print ads addressing each guaranteed right. IBA and HSPA hope members will run the educational materials. The two media organizations also will provide at least two guest columns addressing direct aspects of the importance of the First Amendment.
“The U.S. Constitution established the United States of America as a land of laws, not kings – giving power to federal and state government, but establishing checks and balances so that not one part of the government can dominate the other branches, be it the executive, legislative, or judicial,” said Stephen Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association. “The First Amendment checks the potential abuse of government with its guarantee that people can express their opinions freely, criticize government officials without fear of retaliation, practice the religion of their choice, assemble without fear, and petition their government to take action or change policy.”
HSPA and IBA hope to foster a better understanding of the value of the First Amendment and the need for civil dialogue to make our government work. The current polarization of public opinion makes the First Amendment even more important for our democratic institutions to work effectively.
“As local media sources trusted by millions of Hoosiers, Indiana’s broadcasters strongly believe in the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. These fundamental freedoms deserve our support and continued promotion, given that our system of government depends on clear and unfettered rights such as those defined by the First Amendment,” said Dave Arland, executive director of Indiana Broadcasters Association, whose members employ hundreds of news gathering employees throughout the state.
The Think First Campaign originated in 2018 with Media of Nebraska, an entity of broadcast and print journalists. Its dedicated website attracted more than 400,000 page views within 60 days. 46 state press and broadcast associations have committed to participating in this program.
The impetus for the campaign is the lack of knowledge of the First Amendment. For example, an Annenberg Public Policy Center discovered that nearly 4 in 10 students couldn’t even name one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.
“The reality is, we aren’t really free if we don’t know what our freedoms are and don’t exercise them,” said Ariel Roblin, chairperson of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and president/general manager of KETV in Omaha, NE.
If you have any questions about this release, contact either Steve Key of HSPA at (317) 624-4427 or Dave Arland of IBA at (317) 701-0084