Ken Paulson is director of the Free Speech Center at the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University and former dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU.
A First Amendment expert, Paulson has written and been quoted widely on issues related to free speech and a free press, freedom to assemble and to petition the government, and freedom of religion.
- Former president and CEO of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.
- Creator of “Freedom Sings,” a touring multi-media show since 2001 about music and the First Amendment.
- Editor and senior vice president of USA Today from 2004 to 2009.
- Host of the television show “Speaking Freely” from 2001 to 2004, an Emmy-nominated show featuring interviews with artists and celebrities about free expression in America.
- Founder of 1 for All, a national First Amendment campaign to help teachers better teach the five freedoms in grades 1 to 12.
- Columnist on the USA Today Board of Contributors since 2010.
Paulson, who has a law degree from University of Illinois College of Law, has spent much of his career as a journalist, educator and advocate for First Amendment values.
Ken Paulson’s media appearances include the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CBS News, Good Morning America, ESPN and hundreds of additional news outlets.
- Freedom of Speech: Breaking down the First Amendment online after the Capitol riots, WSMV-TV News, Nashville, Jan. 11, 2021
- On Freedom: Capitol Chaos and Its Impact on Democracy, webinar, Jan. 11, 2021
- The trouble with stopping a teenage killer before they kill, By Paul DeBenedetto, The Outline, March 1, 2018.
- Tennessee lawmakers to allow guns but prohibit 'hand-carried signs' in new building, By Joel Ebert, The Tennessean, Dec. 21, 2017
- Justice Department fights restrictions on freedom of thought and speech at public colleges, By Andrea Noble, Washington Times, Sept. 26, 2017
- What are the 63 hate groups in Florida and are they dangerous? By John McCarthy, News-Press, Aug. 19, 2017
- Milo’s Right: Metro Rules About Political Advertising Make Little Sense, By Benjamin Freed, Washingtonian, July 11, 2017
- Bluster and 'snowflakes' in Webster, By David Andreatta, Democrat & Chronicle, June 30, 2017
- The media fawned over Trump's airstrikes in Syria. Are we really doing this again? By Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post, April 8, 2017.
- Free speech vs. safe spaces: Are conservatives “special snowflakes” when it comes to discourse they don’t like? By Matthew Rozsa, Salon, April 1, 2017.
- Saving Democracy in a Single Bound | Ken Paulson | TEDxNashville
- Outside the Lines, ESPN
- Ken Paulson Talk, Who Knew
- Ken Paulson on CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley, WTVFDT, Crackdown on TV Indecency
- National Press Club Special Event: State of the First Amendment
- Harry Belafonte, “Speaking Freely”
- Ken Paulson on CBS’ The Early Show
State of the First Amendment Survey 1997-2004, 2009-2012: Survey and analysis of Americans attitudes about free expression, conducted annually since 1997.
- First Amendment protects peaceful protest, not an unlawful siege of government, The Tennessean, Jan. 6, 2021
- 229 years ago, America became America, The Missoulian, Dec. 15, 2020
- The First Amendment has no single constituency, and that's a problem, USA Today, Oct. 16, 2020
- Why journalists are fighting police subpoenas in Seattle protests, July 31, 2020
- To battle fake news and trolls, we need more sunlight on our social media, USA Today, March 13, 2018
- Bar Lowering for Journalists? APME News, Sept. 30, 2017
- NFL Protests: Your Boss can Tell You to Stand for the Anthem. Trump Can’t, USA Today, Sept. 27, 2017
- The News Media Love America. The Government, Not so Much, USA Today, Aug. 29, 2017
- Hands-on Freedom Lessons, APME News, July 31, 2017
- USA Today Founder’s Legacy a Lodestar for Today’s Journalism, USA Today, July 13, 2017
- Antidote for Fake News: The Real Thing, APME News, May 28, 2017
- Fight Fake News with the Real Thing, USA Today, Jan. 29, 2017
- Stolen Goods: Navigating Journalistic Ethics, APME News. Dec. 2016
- Trump Tweet Set Constitution Ablaze, USA Today, Nov. 27, 2016
- With Election of Trump, the Watchdog Barked, but had No Bite, Quill, Nov. 2016
- Public Records Need to Stay Public, USA Today, Sept. 11, 2016
- Local Newspapers’ Unexpected Endorsement – and Why It Matters, APME News, Sept. 2016
- Unsettling Thoughts: College Students and a Press-Optional Society, APME News, June 2016
- "We Shall Overcome” Should Belong to Us, USA Today, May 11, 2016
- Prince Gave Us the Parental Advisory Label, USA Today, April 25, 2016
- Watchdogs in the Age of Audacity, APME News, Jan. 2016
- What Mizzou, Yale students need to learn about free speech, USA Today, Nov. 15, 2015
- News Media Lose Trust, But Gain Allies, USA Today, July 2, 2015
- Truth and Consequences: The Lost Lesson at Rolling Stone, APME News, May 2015
- Hillary has a Lot of Company, USA Today, March 11, 2015
- Picture Freedom Supports the First Amendment, The Tennessean, Feb. 17, 2015
- Cost of Cashing in on Catchphrases, USA Today, Feb. 2, 2015
- Free Speech and Readers: It’s the Conversation that Matters, APME News, January 2015
- In the Wake of Tragedy, A True Test of Our Courage, The Tennessean, Jan. 10, 2015
- Beware Revenge Porn Laws, USA Today, Oct. 29, 2014
- Seigenthaler A Champion of First Amendment, USA Today, July 11, 2014
- Protecting the Free Press Rights of Our Youngest Colleagues, APME News, June 2014
- America’s Heroes and the First Amendment, Pennsylvania, News Media Association, Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 2017
- What You Don’t Know about the First Amendment, Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press Public Fo-rum, Nov. 1, 2017
- Convener, Future of Journalism Education Roundtable, Middle Tennessee State University, Oct. 23, 2017
- Understanding a Free Press, Alabama Press Association, Orange Beach, Alabama, July 6, 2017
- Knowing the First Amendment, Alabama Press Association. July 8, 2017
- Purple Reign: Interdisciplinary Conference on the Life and Legacy of Prince Keynote interview, University of Salford, Manchester, England, May 24, 2017
- A Part-Truth Nation, panelist, Vanderbilt University, Feb. 22, 1017
- The Value of News, Arizona Newspaper Association, Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 23, 2016
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