Freedom of Speech and the Press in the Information Age
The report is an outgrowth of a conference we hosted last summer in partnership with the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. Staged at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, we convened more than 130 social studies teachers from across the country to tackle these emerging topics alongside a team of content experts ranging from American University's Jane Hall to NBC's Pete Williams to Thomas Mann of the Brooking Institution. The featured speakers addressed the selected issues from diverse viewpoints and entertained the questions of the teachers in attendance. The teachers, in turn, brainstormed lesson plan ideas, and these lie at the heart of the lesson plans embedded in the report.
On November 7, I presented this report and associated lessons to local teachers at the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago's annual state conference, and again last Saturday at the National Council for the Social Studies' national conference in Houston. Additionally, a handful of James Madison Fellows introduced the same lessons in a poster session conducted at the same conference. Our initial response to the compilation has been remarkably positive. Teachers from across the country have promised to use these lessons in their classroom this year and found the content a perfect match for their heavily "wired" students.
If you are interested in reading the report or using the lessons, please click here to download the document. Also, feel free to contact me should you desire a hard copy of the report, as we will happily send one your way. Finally, we are hosting a free teacher seminar on site on Tuesday December 2 where I will address the Digital Age challenges to a free press and the Fairness Doctrine in more detail. I will be joined by Vivian Vahlberg of the Media Management Center at Northwestern University who will review her August 2008 report From 'Too Much' to 'Just Right': Engaging Millennials in Election News on the Web that I previously reviewed on this blog. Additionally, Tom Bevan, the co-founder of Real Clear Politics, will offer his insights on the future of media coverage of politics. To find out more about the seminar or to register, please click here.