News from the Associated Press Media Editors, a national association of news editors from media including print, online and broadcasting, as well as journalism educators and students.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Free to Tweet - Bill of Rights Day 2011
This is important. We know you’ve been swamped with end-of-the-year planning and budgets, but there’s something we need to take care of.
Three years ago, America’s newspaper and online editors and broadcast news managers helped found the "1 for All” campaign to raise public awareness about freedom of the press and the importance of our role in a democracy.
Momentum has been building. We are on the brink of what will be the biggest public celebration of the First Amendment in history. But ultimate success depends on reaching the American people, particularly the young, in a 24-hour period this Thursday.
In recent weeks, we’ve reached out for news industry help to promote "Free to Tweet” on Dec. 15. Some have responded with free ads; others have published news of the promotion in their papers and websites. Thank you for that.
Candidly, though, there are hundreds more newsroom leaders who have not yet played a role and we need you to generate as much visibility as possible this week – especially on Thursday.
In a nutshell, we want all Americans on Dec. 15 to tweet their support for First Amendment freedoms. To encourage younger citizens to join in, we’re giving away $110,000 in college scholarships ($5,000 each, funded by the Knight Foundation) to the students with the most creative tweets about why the First Amendment matters. You’ll find details at www.freetotweet.org. Our immediate challenge is to raise as much awareness about this online event as possible and drive as many tweets as we can on Dec. 15.
Here are three easy things you can do to make a difference:
1.Tweet something right now, and whenever you can between now and Dec. 15th. It can be something as simple as "Tweet for freedom. $110K in scholarships on Dec. 15 www.freetotweet.org #FreeToTweet”… or "Easiest scholarship competition ever! $110K available for tweets about First Amendment on Dec. 15. www.freetotweet.org #FreeToTweet.”
2.Share this message with your most creative social media staffers. Encourage them to spread the word through your social media network and their own personal tweets.
3.Consider writing about the 220thanniversary of the First Amendment (and the Bill of Rights) on Dec. 15, and include a link to www.freetotweet.org. We also have op-eds available at www.1forall.us.
Please take a few minutes to help us build momentum, and thanks for your ongoing support for a free press and the First Amendment.
— Ken Paulson, president of ASNE and one of the founders of the "1 for All” campaign.