OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The First Amendment guarantees Americans five rights and freedoms that many Americans are poorly informed about.
The U.S Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
A poll done by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that 37% of American surveyed had no idea what their First Amendment freedoms and rights are. That is what led the Nebraska Broadcasters Association (NBA) to begin a campaign called "Think F1rst" to make Americans realize they may not know what their rights are.
According to Jim Timm, President and Executive Director of NBA, the campaign started in 2018, after a board member of Media of Nebraska saw the alarming poll statistics, and proposed it to NBA.
After the campaign went live online, their website got over 400,000 page views in Nebraska alone. The interest the campaign sparked made the group want to take it nationally.
Just last week the NBA announced that 28 state broadcast and print associations joined the campaign, and are encouraging their members to pick up on it and spread awareness.
"It's really critical to the future of our country. The ability for someone to be able to practice the religion that they choose to, to be able to have freedom of speech, to be able to petition their government, if they have a question or feel like they've been wronged. The ability to assemble peaceably, and frankly for those of us in the media," said Timm.
He said that especially in this era of political involvement, people should know their rights and how they are protected.
Adding, "We do think it's important that all generations have an increased understanding of this, but especially starting with youth today, and whether it's material they get late in their elementary school middle school, high school, college courses they may take."
Timm, and the NBA, believe that youth are the future of America, and it's important they are taught their rights and freedoms early on.
To learn more about the movement visit www.thinkfirstamendment.org