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National Communication Association Reaffirms the Importance of Preserving Free Speech and Academic Freedom

March 22, 2016
Association News
Free Speech

Washington, DC - The National Communication Association (NCA), the association representing thousands of Communication scholars and teachers, has a more than 100-year  tradition of advocating for free speech and academic freedom.  At a time when pressing global tensions are rising and we are witnessing examples of suppressed academic freedom on campuses such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, NCA is compelled to once again call upon its members and the broader global community to foster freedom of expression by supporting efforts by students, faculty, and the larger citizenry that are directly aligned with open debate, dialogue, and discussion.

NCA’s free speech–related principles are clearly articulated in its three ethical credos.

  • Among the principles enumerated in the Credo for Ethical Communication are endorsement of “freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, and tolerance of dissent to achieve the informed and responsible decision making fundamental to a civil society” and condemnation of “communication that degrades individuals and humanity through distortion, intimidation, coercion, and violence, and through the expression of intolerance and hatred.”  To view the full Credo, see http://www.natcom.org/ncacredo.
  • The Credo for Free and Responsible Communication in a Democratic Society “support[s] the proposition that a free society can absorb with equanimity speech which exceeds the boundaries of generally accepted beliefs and mores; that much good and little harm can ensue if we err on the side of freedom, whereas much harm and little good may follow if we err on the side of suppression.” To view the full Credo, see http://www.natcom.org/democraticsociety.
  • The Credo for Free and Responsible Use of Electronic Communication Networks supports “freedom of expression and condemn[s] attempts to constrain information processing or electronic communication, especially expressions that are offensive to some or even most of the populace.” To view the full Credo, see http://www.natcom.org/electronicnetworks.

 As an organization committed to the teaching, research, and other professional activities that fuel bestcommunication practices regardless of political ideology, NCA continues to do what it has always done: support anyone engaged in the fair and ethical debate that makes democracy possible.

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

For more information, visit natcom.org, follow us on Twitter at @natcomm, and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalCommunicationAssociation.