NEFAC Calls on Brown University, Sen. Warren to Remove Media Restrictions During Campus Speech

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

Brown University is prohibiting photography and audio and video recording of a speech by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on its campus Wednesday despite the event being open to the public and expected to cover topics of national importance.

In response to the university’s media restrictions, the New England First Amendment Coalition released the following statement today:

The New England First Amendment Coalition calls on Brown University and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to find a way to remove the audio, video and photographic restrictions planned for the Nov. 7 event. While Brown is a private university, Senator Warren is a public official, and the interest in what a potential presidential candidate says the day after Election Day is obvious.
We are sure that an Ivy League institution, which has a long history of hosting high-profile speakers, has the ability to find a solution — whether it be using pool videographers and photographers, allowing video and audio recordings on cell phones, and/or using a larger venue — that would allow for unfettered coverage of this event of high public interest. In a high-tech era, let’s not limit access to the ‘pencil press.’ Amid anti-press sentiment, let’s not set unnecessary press restrictions.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Major Supporters of NEFAC include the Barr Foundation, The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, The Robertson Foundation, The Boston Globe, WBUR and Boston University.