Celebrating the First Amendment at UNC

First Amendment Day at UNC-Chapel Hill is Tuesday, Sept. 27. 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. We can tweet, too. There are limits — we can’t commit libel, for example, without legal consequences. Even so, journalists (a word that I define broadly) 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 this year include a reading of banned books and a discussion of media coverage of the NCAA investigation into the Tar Heels football program.

All sessions are free and open to all. I hope to see you there. If you can’t be, you can follow the fun on Twitter with the hashtag #1stAmendmentDay.



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