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Annenberg Classroom Documentary “Freedom of the Press” Wins Awards

Annenberg Classroom‘s documentary on the First Amendment, “Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States”  has received a 2017 Platinum Hermes Creative Award, an international competition administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The Hermes Awards recognizes excellence in creativity, resourcefulness, and quality, assessing work done by marketing and communications professionals in both traditional and emerging forms of media.

The film, released for Constitution Day in September 2016, has also won:

  • A 2017 Clarion Award in the category of Education, awarded by the Association for Women in Communications.
  • An Award of Excellence – Special Mention in March 2017 from the Best Shorts Competition, which described the documentary as “utterly engaging… with an informative narrative, tight interviews and splashes of fun in the graphics.”
  • A Silver Award in the category Online Film & Educational Video from the 2016 Davey Awards.
Screenshot from Annenberg Classroom's "Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States" video.
Screenshot from Annenberg Classroom’s “Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States” video.

“Freedom of the Press” examines the First Amendment’s protection of a free press as well as the historic origins of this right and the ramifications of the landmark ruling in New York Times v. United States, the Pentagon Papers case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that prior restraint is unconstitutional. In his concurring opinion supporting the freedom of the press, Justice Hugo Black wrote: “Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.” The video comes with closed captions in English and Spanish, along with an accompanying lesson plan.

The film was produced by The Documentary Group for the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civic’s Annenberg Classroom project and the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.

Annenberg Classroom provides resources for middle and high school students, and the site contains an extensive library of more than 60 videos, including conversations with Supreme Court justices. Teachers can also find fun, interactive games on the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment, and the three branches of government; the “Constitution Guide: What It Says, What It Means”; timelines; and free downloadable books.


This post was updated on July 12, 2017.