Annenberg Classroom Documentary “Freedom of the Press” Wins Award

    Annenberg Classroom‘s documentary on the First Amendment, “Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States,” has received an Award of Excellence – Special Mention from the Best Shorts Competition.

    The film, released for Constitution Day in September 2016, was described as by the Best Shorts Competition as “Utterly engaging… with an informative narrative, tight interviews and splashes of fun in the graphics.” The 25-minute video also won 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.