Campaign launches with ‘extraordinary support’

Friday, July 16, 2010

1 for All — an unprecedented nationwide campaign to build understanding and public support for the First Amendment — launched July 1 with broad media support.

Hundreds of newspapers and Web sites, including USA Today and Google, featured ads, news stories, op-eds and blog posts announcing the new campaign.

“We’re gratified by the extraordinary support for the 1 for All campaign by America’s news and social media,” said Ken Paulson, president of the Newseum and First Amendment Center and a founder of the campaign. “Their efforts in print and online honor one very special piece of parchment.”

Google greeted users of its search engine July 1 with an invitation to “Learn about your First Amendment rights with 1 for All” under the search box. It also set up a page. And in a Google blog post, David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer, wrote “Standing up for the First Amendment with 1 for All.

“In the United States, our lives would be unrecognizable without the First Amendment,” Drummond said. “We’re celebrating the First Amendment on the 1st of July by joining news organizations, artists, librarians, lawyers, educators and many others in supporting 1 for All … . At a time when restrictions on speech are increasing around the globe, we think it’s essential to remind ourselves that we can’t take freedom of expression for granted. Get informed, get involved and stand up with us for the First on the 1st.”

The nonpartisan 1 for All campaign is a collaborative effort of educators, artists, journalists, lawyers, librarians and others who believe the public will benefit from a greater understanding of the First Amendment. 1 for All encourages news media and other organizations to explain the First Amendment and encourage Americans to celebrate and use the freedoms it guarantees: speech, press, religion, assembly and petition.

As part of the launch, more than 300 organizations nationwide committed to carrying public service ads and publicizing the campaign, including many of the nation’s largest news organizations and online companies.

The Associated Press distributed a story about the campaign to its thousands of news-media clients. USA Today ran a full-page ad featuring comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres, who supports 1 for All.

Meanwhile, The Houston Chronicle published an op-ed article by Paulson titled “Now’s time to stand up for the First Amendment,” and the Orlando Sentinel asked its readers: “It’s almost Independence Day; do you know your freedoms?

The Orlando Sentinel also ran an editorial today, “Know your First Amendment freedoms,” in which it touted 1 for All: “Americans who forgot the freedoms because they take them for granted, or who never really learned them in the first place, will get a refresher course similar to the ‘Got milk?’ campaign — a multimedia ad blitz replete with performers, artists, journalists and others who will remind people that the First Amendment’s not some historical relic.”

1 for All’s launch also received extensive Web coverage. Yahoo! News’ The Newsroom ran a post about the campaign. CBS Interactive today heavily featured ads promoting the campaign across all of its brands — from and to Gamespot, The Insider and ZDNet.

The online news site Seattle PostGlobe displayed a 1 for All video and ad, which it has said it will display daily. The Dothan (Ala.) Eagle, meanwhile, was running all nine of the 1 for All ads in print and online the first nine days of July, and planned to repeat the ads throughout the month.

News of the campaign also was carried on the Web pages of groups ranging from the Poynter Institute to the Online News Association to the Radio Television Digital News Association. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — an earlier supporter of 1 for All and a longtime advocate for the First Amendment — featured the debut of the campaign in two locations, the foundation’s main Web site and on its KnightBlog.

1 for All has its origins as a 2007 project of the American Society of News Editors, organized by Paulson, which convened a summit of educators, journalists, artists, attorneys and advocates to talk about why the public knows so little about the First Amendment. Attendees concluded that education and marketing were critical to building understanding and support.

The Knight Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Newseum, First Amendment Center, Gannett Foundation and Brechner Center contributed resources to the cause.

Brian J. Buchanan contributed to this report.

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