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[VIRTUAL] Free Speech Live!: News on Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts for Young People

Keyboard and social media thumbs up and heart icons in background; on top: “Free Speech Live! A biweekly virtual forum for students. News on Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts for Young People featuring special guest Roy Gutterman”

An online forum hosted by PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program as part of our biweekly student-centered evening workshop series, Free Speech Live!

Nowadays, in a world ruled by COVID and other forces outside our control, many turn to an easy way to receive news and understand the world we live in. The growing dominance of social media has led to an increased reliance on sources like Instagram and Twitter for news and information. As American teenagers, we reap the privileges of living in a technologically advanced society: one that allows us to interact with each other in seconds, to gain knowledge of an event or cause with the click of a button. However, as we turn toward a reliance on social media, how often should we be trusting what we’re reading? Just because social media has made access to information infinitely easier, does it mean we should be placing our trust in unverified sources and random individuals?


Join PEN America and Teens for Press Freedom for this interactive online forum featuring a brief presentation, discussion, and Q&A session with Nicholas Perez, PEN America’s manager of free expression and education, and special guest Roy Gutterman, director at the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, to discuss answers to these questions and more. High school and college alumni of PEN America’s Institutes, members of Teens for Press Freedom, and other students are welcome to join.

Presented in partnership with Teens for Press Freedom.

Teens for Press Freedom logo

Special Guest

Roy Gutterman headshotRoy Gutterman, associate professor and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, has been working with a coalition of student journalism advocates and legislators to get the Student Journalist Free Speech Act passed in New York. Gutterman, a former newspaper reporter and lawyer, began his journalism career in high school just about when the Hazelwood decision came down.


Nicholas Perez headshotNicholas “Niko” Perez is the manager of free expression and education at PEN America. In this role, he advances PEN America’s efforts to catalyze a more informed, civic culture through free expression education for the rising generation and the general public, and supports advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. Perez co-directs the Free Speech Advocacy Institute and hosts Free Speech Live!, a biweekly series of youth-oriented discussions focusing on contemporary issues related to free speech, open exchange, human rights, and democracy. Perez previously worked for the Columbia University Human Rights Advocates Program and consulted for the Human Rights Education and Training section at the United Nations. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in human rights and humanitarian policy and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in international politics. He also was a Global Leadership Fellow at Waseda University in Japan, a Model United Nations advisor at Mira Costa High School, and a forensics researcher for the Yahad-in Unum genocide research agency.

About Teens for Press Freedom

Teens for Press Freedom (TPF) is a national, youth-led organization dedicated to defending journalists and promoting factual literacy among youth. With increasing distrust in credible sources and an influx of fake news on social media, it’s crucial to educate young people on how to be smart, active consumers. TPF was founded in 2020 after cofounders Charlotte Hampton and Isabel Tribe attended the PEN America Summer Free Speech Advocacy Institute. TPF holds weekly open forum workshops to discuss press freedom issues and releases a weekly news blast to connect youth with accessible, verifiable information. TPF also advocates for the passage of legislation aimed at reviving local news and protecting the free press in America. Check out their website, subscribe to their newsletter, and follow them on Instagram at @teensforpressfreedom and on Twitter at @teensforpress.

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