Nebraska media trying to educate public about First Amendment with ‘Think F1rst’ campaign

June 29, 2018

Alarmed by polls that show Americans lack even basic knowledge about the First Amendment, Nebraska news media members have started a statewide education campaign.

Media of Nebraska said Thursday it will be running radio, TV and newspaper ads and sharing on social media the message of “Think F1rst” for the next few months.

The purpose of Think F1rst is to encourage all Nebraskans to think about the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment: freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, to peacefully assemble and to petition the government.

The campaign will feature a farmer, a college student, a health care professional, a journalist and a pastor stating the various freedoms given to them under the First Amendment.

Craig Eckert, who represents his company, Platte River Radio in Hastings and Kearney, as a Media of Nebraska board member, said polls have shown that people do not know the actual freedoms listed in the First Amendment.

Eckert cited a civics survey taken by the Annenberg Public Policy Center last year that showed nearly four in 10 students couldn’t name even one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Because of that “and other unsettling indications that many citizens were unaware of the value of the First Amendment,” Eckert said, the Media of Nebraska Board decided to undertake the educational campaign.

Nebraskans are encouraged to learn more about the campaign by visiting ThinkFirstAmendment.org.