FAQ

What does the Institute do?

We work to preserve and expand the freedoms of speech and the press through strategic litigation, research, and public education. We're particularly interested in the implications of new technology, including the questions raised by electronic surveillance and new communications platforms.
 

Does the Institute work with media organizations and advocacy groups?

Yes, absolutely.  We develop our own litigation and produce and sponsor original research, but we aim to be a valuable partner to advocacy organizations, to media organizations and journalists, and to law school transparency and First Amendment clinics.
 

Does the Institute's work cover all aspects of the First Amendment?

We are focused on the freedoms of speech and the press.
 

What kinds of cases does the Institute take on?

We bring "impact" litigation that has the potential to establish important new law relating to the freedoms of speech and the press, or that has the potential to change significant government policies or practices relating to those freedoms.
 

What kinds of research does the Institute support?

We expect to launch our research program this summer.
 

How is the Institute funded?

Columbia University and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation established the Institute in 2016, and both have committed substantial resources to it. We are fortunate to be supported as well by the Carnegie Corporation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.
 

How is the Institute governed?

The Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization governed by a board that includes members from both within and outside the Columbia University community.