‘MTSU On the Record’ looks at First Amendment in 2...

‘MTSU On the Record’ looks at First Amendment in 2020 with Free Speech Center director

A recent edition of “MTSU On the Record” looked at how the divisiveness and chaos of life in America in 2020 is affecting our democracy’s basic freedoms.

Ken Paulson, director, Free Speech Center at MTSU, College of Media and Entertainment

Ken Paulson

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University, first aired Nov. 3 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at

You can listen to their conversation via the Soundcloud link above.

Paulson said he is concerned about the impact the turbulent events of 2020, including backlash against protesters, social media outrage and allegations of “fake news,” have had and are having on Americans’ understanding of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web “Only 2 percent of Americans know the five freedoms (included in the First Amendment), and yet each and every American can recite the Pledge of Allegiance,” Paulson said. “They’re of comparable length but not of comparable importance.”

The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

logo for Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State UniversityThe Free Speech Center was established in August 2019 as a nonpartisan public policy center based in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment.

It works to build understanding about the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment through education, information and engagement.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.