The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to free press, free speech, and free spirit for all people.
About the Organization:
The Freedom Forum was established by Allen H. Neuharth, founder of USA Today, as the successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The organization, which is not affiliated with the Gannett Company, focuses on three program areas — the Newseum, the First Amendment, and newsroom diversity. Neuharth describes the term "free spirit" in the mission statement as the ability to be "a risk taker, visionary, innovative leader, entrepreneur, or courageous achiever."
The Newseum is an interactive news museum developed to help the public and the news media understand one another better, and to pay homage to the First Amendment. Its facility in Arlington, Virginia, is now closed, as it prepares to move into a new building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., in 2007. In the meantime, the cybernuseum is going strong. The First Amendment Center, an educational program of the Freedom Forum that is associated with the Newseum, disseminates reports, forums, and news on First Amendment principles, issues, and decisions. It has offices in Arlington and at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, through the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies.
The Newsroom Diversity program incorporates the Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt, which works with daily newspapers, newspaper groups, and others to identify and develop new journalists of color, many of whom are career changers; the American Indian Journalism Institute, a joint program of the Freedom Forum and Vanderbilt, which focuses on reporting, writing, photojournalism, and ethics; the Chips Quinn Scholars program, which places seventy-five scholars in paid newspaper newsroom internships each year; and the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota, which provides educational programs for professional and student journalists. The ASNE/APME Fellows program, a partnership of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associated Press Managing Editors, and the Freedom Forum, places journalists of color in full-time, permanent newsroom positions at small newspapers.
The URLs are different for the Freedom Forum, Newseum, and the First Amendment Center, and each site links to the other two via its homepage. The Freedom Forum Web site contains program specifics (see above); an eleven-minute video about newspaper journalism; and a biography of founder Allen Neuharth. The Newmuseum's Web site showcases more than four hundred daily front pages from around the world, a marvelous teaching tool; and it contains an archive of front pages chronicling significant events in recent world history. The First Amendment Center's Web site provides coverage of key First Amendment topics; a First Amendment library; transcripts from the PBS television program Speaking Freely; and commentary from First Amendment experts.
The work of the Freedom Forum is supported solely by income from an endowment of diversified assets.