The Future of the First Amendment: 2018 Report of High School Students and Teachers

A newly released report by the Knight Foundation examines how high school students’ attitudes about the First Amendment are changing and what it means for the future of democracy.

The national study of 9,774 high school students and 498 teachers is the eighth in a series of surveys of high school students and teachers commissioned by Knight Foundation over the last 12 years.

The Knight Foundation identified seven key findings from the report:

  • Students expressed strong support for the First Amendment but favor some limits on free speech.
  • News engagement and trust has declined.
  • Students are increasingly trusting in citizen journalism.
  • Students believe that social media has a negative effect on free expression.
  • Students attribute a rise in hate speech to the internet.
  • Most students don’t believe “fake news” is a threat to democracy.
  • More high school students than college students believe that hate speech should be protected by the First Amendment.
2018 Future of the First Amendment