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2008 HUGH M. HEFNER first amendment awards draw record number of nominations


CHICAGO. -The 2008 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards have drawn a record number of nominations, demonstrating the American public’s resurgent interest in defending their right to freedom of expression, the Playboy Foundation announced Tuesday.

“This year, we received 60 nominations - more than double our previous record,” said Christie Hefner, Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. “Our nominees range from law professors to website creators to student journalists, representing both traditional and digital means of expression. But whether their messages are expressed in a book, on a website, or across a t-shirt, all of these nominees share a devotion to defending our fundamental right to freedom of speech.”

This year, the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards will include the new $25,000 Freedom of Expression Award, created to support an individual whose record of accomplishments indicates a promising future as an effective advocate for the First Amendment. Each winner of the original Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards will receive $10,000.

Nominations will be submitted to a panel of distinguished judges: David M. Rubin, Dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University; Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at University of Chicago Law School, and Nadine Strossen, President of the American Civil Liberties Union and Professor of Law at New York Law School.

Ms. Hefner created the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards in 1979 to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the vital effort to protect and enhance First Amendment rights for Americans. Since then, more than 125 valiant advocates for First Amendment freedoms have been recognized with the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards.

The Playboy Foundation will present the 2008 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards, including the Freedom of Expression Award, in an awards ceremony to be held on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C.


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