Expert Pitch
Middle Tennessee State University

Dec. 15 marks the 229th anniversary of the Bill of Rights ratification. @FreeSpeechMTSU @kenpaulson1 reminds us what we’re celebrating.

Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University is available to explain the Bill of Rights - the set of freedoms at the core of our nation's values - and why we should not take them for granted.

The Free Speech Center has added a special series of free ads to its 1 for All Campaign for the First Amendment  to commemorate the 229th anniversary of the Bill of Rights ratification. The free ads, which are available for print and web publications, can be found in this link to the Center's 1 for All Gallery

Paulson has written a feature piece, "229 years ago, America became . . . America," that details President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1941 designation of Dec. 15 as national Bill of Rights Day. Paulson also recommends the best way to celebrate and perserve these precious freedoms today. For an advance copy of the article, which is embargoed for Dec. 15 publication, please send requests to [email protected].

Paulson is the former editor-in-chief of USA Today, where he remains a columnist writing about First Amendment and media issues.

Paulson founded the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University in 2019. He was executive director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University from 1997 to 2004 and president and CEO of the center from 2010 through 2018. He speaks widely on First Amendment issues and has been quoted in an extensive range of news media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, ESPNCBS Evening News and Newsweek.

Paulson has also appeared before Congress as a First Amendment expert. He has a juris doctorate and is a member of both the Illinois and Florida bars.

In addition to his column for USA TODAY, Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program "Speaking Freely," seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment, which has toured the nation¹s campuses for the past 20 years. His “The Bill of Rights: The Remix” has been in residency at the Country Music Hall of Fame since 2017.

Paulson, the former dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University, continues to teach Mass Media Law and Free Expression, the Media and the American People at the university.

Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.

He was on the team of journalists who founded USA Today in 1982 before moving on to manage newsrooms in Westchester County, N.Y., Green Bay, Wis., Bridgewater, N.J. and at Florida Today in Brevard County, Fla., and finally USA TODAY from 2004 to 2009.

He and his colleague John Seigenthaler spoke to more than 5,000 journalists and media professionals about the importance of a free press over a 12-year period.



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