Monday, November 5, 2007

Planting the Seeds for the Liberty Tree

Monday, November 05, 2007

The First Amendment is taking a beating, but a group of top-shelf journalists and First Amendment advocates aren't going to stand by anymore. Enter the Liberty Tree Initiative, a new campaign that aims to improve the public's perception of the First Amendment and journalists.

The project kicked off this past week at McCormick Tribune Foundation's Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Ill., with a two-day brainstorming meeting organized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Describing the group assembled as a "League of Nations of First Amendment professionals," Liberty Tree mastermind and USA Today editor Ken Paulson charged participants to come up with ideas and strategies for improving public sentiment on the First Amendment freedoms.

With the help of communications firm Weber Shandwick, the Liberty Tree Initiative should have a solid foundation for a campaign by early next year.

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