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Written by David L. Hudson Jr., published on January 1, 2009 , last updated on May 5, 2024

Media Institute

The Media Institute is a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit organization that specializes in First Amendment issues in the communications arena. Founded in 1979, the group’s self-described mission is to pursue three goals: “freedom of speech, a competitive media and communications industry, and excellence in journalism.”


Media Institute creates publications on First Amendment issues

The institute publishes a host of books and position papers covering a wide range of First Amendment issues. It also prepares regulatory filings before administrative agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, it files amicus briefs in a variety of First Amendment cases dealing with commercial speech. Past examples are Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association v. United States (1999) and Nike v. Kasky (2003).


Among the institute’s current projects is “Content Wars,” an online forum on broadcast indecency, violence, and censorship. Eight times a year in Washington, the Media Institute also hosts a luncheon program called the “Communications Forum” in order to give government and communication industry newsmakers an opportunity to address important public issues.


David L. Hudson, Jr. is a law professor at Belmont who publishes widely on First Amendment topics.  He is the author of a 12-lecture audio course on the First Amendment entitled Freedom of Speech: Understanding the First Amendment (Now You Know Media, 2018).  He also is the author of many First Amendment books, including The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012) and Freedom of Speech: Documents Decoded (ABC-CLIO, 2017). This article was originally published in 2009.​


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