Free speech, while protected under the First Amendment and indisputably a foundation of democracy, has come increasingly under fire in an era of bots, so-called fake news and a challenging business environment for the news industry. Journalists around the globe, including the U.S., are silenced by threats, legal action and violence on a daily basis.
Against this backdrop, I’ve given a great deal of thought to the fact that free speech, like all values, is learned. It’s worth exploring how young people come to value this right and seek to protect it. How do they learn about it? What can we do to teach this important fundamental value from a very young age amidst all the confusing noise of the news, social media and politics? Offering some hope for the future and the protection of free speech, enters Hilde Kate Lysiak, a young journalist from a small town in central Pennsylvania.