'Atlantic' Launches "The Speech Wars" Project

Taking on the hot topic of free speech, The Atlantic will launch its year-long reporting series, “The Speech Wars,” at a San-Francisco-based national summit, Free Speech (Un)Limited, on December 5.

“The Speech Wars,” which will investigate the notions of free expression and public discourse in the U.S., stretches across The Atlantic’s platforms, including TheAtlantic.com, video and live events.

The kickoff event will focus on the debate about free speech on campuses, tech platforms and in politics, featuring Facebook vice president of public policy Elliot Schrage, University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer, CEO, PEN America Suzanne Nossel and former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao.

Expanding on the publication’s need to take on the topic of free speech, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, stated: “We need to understand why so many factions and individuals across America have traded dissent and useful argument for intolerance and illiberalism.”



Over the course of its year-long unfolding, “The Speech Wars” seeks to identify where and how free speech is endangered or abused. Reports and essays from staff writers and contributors will explore how ideological beliefs among liberals and conservatives have become more polarized over the past two decades and how this presents a danger to the public.

The project is support by the Charles Koch Foundation, the Reporters Committee on the Freedom of the Press and the Fetzer Institute. The company won't comment on individual numerical support, but says it maintains total editorial control.

The Atlantic is, and always has been, a marketplace for competing ideas,” Goldberg stated.

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