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Free Speech Center at MTSU

Articles, news and insights about free expression in America

University of Nebraska - Omaha

For its 1 for All public relations campaign, the campus conducted a First Amendment panel and a social media influence competition.

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, Peter Kiewit Distinguished Professor in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, led a successful collaboration with the Department of Political Science to put the panel and competition together.

In conjunction with Constitution Week at the university, Lipschultz hosted the Sept. 19 panel to explain and discuss the importance of the First Amendment. The panel featured:

“The founding fathers saw the press as a watchdog,” said Holmes, as quoted by The Gateway, the UNO campus newspaper. Holmes gave a short history of the First Amendment before discussion moved to modern-day journalism and the importance of press freedom and free speech in the U.S. and the world.

“We have to constantly fight for the First Amendment — it’s at the heart of everything,” said Chris Allen, a professor in UNO’s School of Communication.

The #UNO1ForAll Social Media Influence Competition on Instagram and Twitter ran from Sept. 19 through Oct. 31. All UNO students were eligible to compete for cash prizes for creating the most influential First Amendment awareness campaigns on social media.

Data were analyzed by students in a social media measurement and management course and presented to a panel of judges. The winners were announced on a Zoom live stream and on Facebook Live Nov. 14 (see the awards slides):

Over the course of the influencer contest, 220 Twitter users used the #UNO1ForAll hashtag, as shown in the social network data.

“Additionally, we had more than 2,100 Intagram likes and 65 comments,” Lipschultz said.

“While the contest focused on Twitter and Instagram, the students innovated by creating a Spotify playlist and a Snapchat filter for the campaign,” he said. “Overall, we engaged more than 100 students, faculty and staff in First Amendment discussion through the September panel and October campaign pitches by the five finalists.

“Our successful collaboration with political science left the chair of that department asking: Can we do this again next year? We will be hosting Omaha 2020 on Oct. 8 and would consider incorporating this again.”

News coverage

The Gateway: UNO celebrates Constitution Week including First Amendment panel

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