Press Release: Media Coalition Creates New Foundation to Advance Defense of First Amendment

CONTACT:
David Horowitz  |  horowitz@mediacoalition.org  |  212-587-4025 x3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2015

NEW YORK — Media Coalition, the trade association which has been fighting to preserve freedom of speech since its founding in 1973, has created the Media Coalition Foundation. The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization that will offer individuals and others the opportunity to make tax-deductible contributions to help further Media Coalition’s work protecting the public’s right to access the broadest possible range of information, opinion and entertainment.

The Foundation will challenge laws, file amicus briefs and support other organizations’ ability to protect free speech. It will also undertake public education efforts by publishing reports and providing resource material to educate elected officials, journalists and the public about First Amendment issues.

“The goal is that Foundation resources will help advance Media Coalition’s exceptional record of successes in challenging laws that violate the First Amendment and in supporting other free speech cases,” says Tom Foulkes of the Entertainment Software Association, chairman of the new Foundation and immediate past chair of the Coalition.

The Foundation intends to build upon Media Coalition’s legal work in defending the right to produce and distribute media, as well as the public’s right to access the broadest range of such speech. Over the past four decades, Media Coalition has brought more than 35 lawsuits to protect the rights of booksellers; librarians; publishers; film, recording and video game producers; and home video and video game retailers, and thus protect the rights of the public.

“Media Coalition has come to the rescue of Tattered Cover on multiple occasions over the last 40 years,” says Joyce Meskis, owner of the large independent Denver bookstore. “Together, we have fought bad laws which have encroached on the First Amendment rights of readers and battled all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court to fight against a search warrant that threatened the privacy of customer records. We are grateful for the continued vigilance of Media Coalition in protecting our First Amendment rights and the new Foundation’s potential for doing so in the future.”

That potential is significant. “In spite of Media Coalition’s best efforts, there are more censorship laws passed in Congress and state legislatures than we have the ability to challenge,” says David Horowitz, Executive Director of Media Coalition.

The Foundation will carry forward Media Coalition’s history of legal challenges and amicus briefs — a tradition that, in the last decade, established the body of law barring restrictions for speech online and supported the Coalition’s members in defending media with violent content. But it will also tackle new free speech issues, especially as more states consider new kinds of laws to restrict speech both in traditional outlets and online.

As new First Amendment issues emerge, the Foundation also aims to continue Media Coalition’s work in educating policymakers, journalists and the public. From its first report about media boycott crusades of the 1980s to the most recent debunking myths about the impact of violence in new media, Media Coalition has been at the forefront of fighting new trends in censorship. The Foundation will augment these educational efforts to keep the American public engaged in free speech causes.

“It is important to remind ourselves that none of Media Coalition’s victories, whether in the legislatures or the courts, are permanent,” says Horowitz. “The Foundation allows our allies to share the fight against those who seek to restrict the marketplace of ideas.”

Media Coalition Foundation is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not engage in lobbying or any other activities incompatible with its 501(c)(3) status. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law.

For more information, visit mediacoalitionfoundation.org.

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