Thursday is First Amendment Day at UNC-Chapel Hill. Here is what it’s all about:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
For journalists of all types, that means we can gather news, write an article or blog post, edit it and put a headline on it without fear of going to prison. There are limits — we can’t commit libel, for example, without legal consequences. Even so, journalists enjoy freedoms in this country that their counterparts in others do not.
That right and the others in the First Amendment deserve a day of recognition and celebration. The UNC events include a debate about religious freedom, a reading of banned books and a discussion of codes of student conduct.
All are free and open to the public. I hope to see you there.