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Tuesday, October 12 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Is 'More Speech' still the answer? First Amendment Complications in the Media Marketplace

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Mill, Milton, Voltaire, Paine. Our field teaches classical liberal ideas about freedom of speech. The foundational argument is that the solution for bad speech is always more speech. We tell our students that, when faced with hate speech, the response is not restriction but counter speech. The First Amendment calls on us to respect the rights of all speakers even when we don’t respect the message. It’s, “freedom for the thought that we hate,” as Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in U.S. v. Schwimmer.

In the last five years, the nation has seen some disturbing trends in media and political communication that require us to reevaluate whether this marketplace of ideas approach to speech is still viable. The media industry has become siloed and polarized. Hate speech appears to be on the rise, at its worst with events such as the white supremacist march on Charlottesville, Virginia that took the life a peaceful protester. Revenge porn is given protected status even as it robs people of their privacy and dignity. Digital and social media have taken the capacity for deceptive practices in politics to a new level with deep fakes or just the simple act of writing something that isn’t true and very efficiently giving the lie mass circulation.

The incentives for media businesses, politicians, and political commentators have perverted the marketplace of ideas. We are at a point where we need to revisit and reevaluate the marketplace of ideas argument. This round table discussion will address how we begin to have that conversation as scholars and educators.

avatar for Kim A. Zarkin

Kim A. Zarkin

Westminster College - Salt Lake City


Kevin Johnson

California State University - Long Beach

David Turpin

California State University, Long Beach
avatar for Rob Spicer

Rob Spicer

Millersville University of PA

Tuesday October 12, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Channel A