Eagle Eye: First Amendment Watch Highlights Threats to the Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly and Petition

By Stroh, Sean | Editor & Publisher, January 2018 | Go to article overview

Eagle Eye: First Amendment Watch Highlights Threats to the Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly and Petition


Stroh, Sean, Editor & Publisher


Over the past year, clashes over freedom of expression have made their way to the top of the news. Whether it be journalists responding to President Trump's threats against the press or the league-wide protests by NFL players, the right to express themselves has continued to spark debate amongst people from all walks of life.

With the launch of First Amendment Watch, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU hopes to better inform the conversation by highlighting threats to the freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition.

The website (firstamendmentwatch.org) offers daily updates, analysis, access to important legal cases, an interactive map and links to additional resources. It also features content from expert organizations such as the Newseum's First Amendment Center.

"The public needs reliable and nonpartisan information about how the First Amendment applies to these conflicts. What is protected speech? How are hate speech, symbolic speech, satire and the right to protest upheld under the First Amendment?" said Stephen D. Solomon, a professor at the Carter Journalism Institute and the site's founding editor. "Our goal is to provide news, commentary, and legal and historical context that is critical to understanding and protecting our First Amendment rights."

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which was unveiled earlier this year, had no influence on the development of their own site, Solomon said. …

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