First Amendment Speakers Bureau offers outreach to high schools

Teachers searching for ways to incorporate the First Amendment into their lessons should check out the resources offered by the First Amendment Speakers Bureau, a service of the MLRC Institute, a sister organization of the Media Law Resource Center.

The Speakers Bureau sends MLRC members to various venues across the country, such as high schools, libraries, universities and conferences, to give presentations on a variety of journalism topics, such as the reporter’s privilege, online news and content, and censorship.

Presentations related to other topics, such as high school press issues, also occur.

Dorianne Van Dyke, the WSJ-MLRC Institute Free Speech Fellow, said the Institute is also in the process of creating a new presentation on social media issues related to students.

The Institute regularly sends speakers to conferences run by student press associations and teachers associations, as well.

The Institute’s mission is to sponsor and support First Amendment research and education projects. Over the years, projects have included a libel quiz, a white paper on the reporter’s privilege and the Free Press in a Free Society initiative.

Another of the Institute’s projects is the Actions Against Online Speech blog, which lists incidences in the United States in which online speech is threatened, whether through libel suits, criminal investigations or other means.

First Amendment lesson plans can also be found at