The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Above: Some of last year's #FreeToTweet entries. Photo credit: Elise Hu
The competition encouraged students nationwide to reflect on the five freedoms of the First Amendment — freedom of speech, press and religion, and the right to assemble and petition — and tweet about one of these core liberties. Each tweet was an entry, with students eligible to win one of five $5,000 scholarships funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The competition, which was supported by Knight, the First Amendment Center, the Newseum, the American Society of News Editors and Patch, is the second annual celebration of the First Amendment through social media.
News organizations nationwide helped build visibility for the campaign. Especially noteworthy was the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s republication of the full Bill of Rights.
George Mason University’s Office of Student Media held a supplemental Free to Tweet competition, offering a prize for students at the school who participated in the national event.
Sample tweets from the competition (not necessarily winners):
Judging of the entries by First Amendment experts and educators has begun and winners will be announced in January. Participants should watch for updates on Twitter by following @freetotweet2012.
By Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center
Related: "Students can win scholarships with #FreeToTweet" on KnightBlog.org