LINCON – At a news conference this morning in the Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda, members of Media of Nebraska unveiled a public awareness campaign about the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The core message: “Think F1rst.”
“The purpose of Media of Nebraska centers around the First Amendment to the Constitution, arguably the only Amendment in the Bill of Rights that Americans use every day,” said Craig Eckert, who represents his company, Platte River Radio in Hastings and Kearney, as a Media of Nebraska Board member. Eckert made the motion to enact an educational campaign late last year. Eckert said, “In the past few years, polls began to show that Americans lacked even a basic knowledge of the First Amendment, particularly in articulating the five freedoms that it guarantees. Not the interpretation of, but the actual knowledge of freedoms that Americans exercise nearly every day. In August of last year, a civics survey taken by the Annenberg Public policy Center showed nearly 4 in 10 students couldn’t name even one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. With that, it and other unsettling indications that many citizens were unaware of the value of the First Amendment, the Media of Nebraska Board decided that we enter into an educational phase of our mission. This is the manifestation of that decision.”
The “Think F1rst” campaign will begin July 4 and run through September 30. The campaign will be supported in-kind on statewide radio and television stations, in newspapers, and on the websites and social media platforms of these same entities. The foundations of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and Nebraska Press Association, which are members of Media of Nebraska, mutually agreed to fund the multimedia creative elements of the campaign, which were created by Clark Creative Group of Omaha. Clark Creative Group made a significant donation of time and services as part of their commitment to the project.
Think F1rst is a campaign designed to express a simple directive: to encourage all Nebraskans to think about the First Amendment. Using various statewide media platforms, the campaign will help educate Nebraskans about the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.
The campaign components for television and print feature five Nebraskans, each highlighting one of the five freedoms. Those five Nebraskans represent a diverse cross-section of the state and include a farmer, a college student, a health care professional, a journalist and a pastor.
To specifically reach younger Nebraskans, the campaign will use statewide social media, including Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Online postings will present facts on the First Amendment and encourage sharing those facts. These messages will be presented by Nebraskans aged 17-24.
All campaign components will encourage Nebraskans to learn more about the First Amendment by visiting the website ThinkFirstAmendment.org.
Fred Clark, President of Clark Creative Group stated, “The creative approach for the Think F1rst campaign was a strong collaboration between Media of Nebraska and Clark Creative Group. From the onset, our intention was to feature a cross- section of Nebraskans that would help deliver the message. We thought it was important to represent ‘We the people’ in this important campaign.”