On April 19, 2016, the Charles Koch Foundation was a proud sponsor of the Newseum’s inaugural Free Expression Awards. The Newseum, an institution dedicated to educating the public on First Amendment freedoms, honored three individuals and one group for their dedication to the freedoms of speech, the press, religion, and artistic expression.
New York Times reporter James Risen received the Free Press Award. Risen’s 2006 book State of War used information provided by a confidential source, which embroiled Risen in a seven-year-long legal battle fighting a government subpoena that would have required him to reveal the source of his information. Risen resisted the subpoena on the grounds that it would have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press.
It is important to bring attention to the difficulties faced by defenders of free expression today. Taking time to recognize those who make tough decisions in order to stand up for important First Amendment freedoms helps spread an understanding of these fundamental rights.
In order to continue exploring the importance of toleration to a free and flourishing society, the Charles Koch Foundation requests proposals for research regarding toleration and free speech.