NAB Launches First Amendment Campaign

A microphone wrapped in barbed wire.
(Image credit: AlexLMX via Getty Images)

The National Association of Broadcasters has launched a campaign to celebrate the 231st anniversary (Sept. 25) of the passage of the constitutional amendments that became the Bill of Rights, particularly the First Amendment that guaranteed free speech and a free press.

The campaign focuses on the key role broadcasters play in upholding those freedoms, coming at a time when broadcasters are taking an economic hit.

That campaign includes clip-and-use social media posts like "Thank you to those working to hold local officials and citizens accountable, to find the answers and to seek justice. This has never been more important. #Celebrate1A #FirstAmendment" and "Thank you to our trusted journalists who bring us the truth without fear or favor. #Celebrate1A #FirstAmendment."

That wording is often used by NAB President Gordon Smith in extolling the virtues of a free and independent broadcast press, which he did in unveiling the campaign.

“America’s founders, in their infinite wisdom, understood that our country could not long survive without a free press that could report the facts and deliver their opinions without fear or favor,” said Smith. “NAB celebrates this enduring principle that has kept our communities informed and engaged since our nation’s early days, and we honor the ongoing work of the press in preserving our democracy.”

The effort also includes a PSA as well as talking points for on-air editorials, including this one: "Especially during the pivotal events of the past six months, our most-trusted sources of news – our local radio and TV stations and broadcast network partners – have shown how essential a free press is to keeping people informed. Journalists have done remarkable work to keep their audiences informed during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as stations have had to drastically revamp their operations to create safe workplaces."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.