The First Amendment Network

NFPW continually works for all Americans to protect First Amendment rights through our First Amendment Network. All members are part of this grassroots system that notifies FAN members when issues need action. Members then can respond to their congressional offices or state and federal agencies.

Recently issues include working to stop federal tariffs on newsprint that can stifle the ability of newspapers to meet the needs of their readers and working in individual states to pass legislation protection high school journalists from censorship.

NFPW also participates in Sunshine Week, an annual event that heightens awareness of First Amendment issues.

Sunshine Week occurs each year in mid-March, coinciding with James Madison’s birthday and National Freedom of Information Day on the 16th.
Stay tuned for more information on 2024 dates. 


Learn More

The First Amendment to the
United States Constitution

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Get involved!  All NFPW members are automatic members of the FAN Network. Then you make the decision if you choose to take action. The more voices we have championing First Amendment issues the stronger the barrier against those forces seeking to weaken these precious freedoms.

If you’re not an NFPW member, but wish to join FAN, please contact Marsha Shuler, our FAN director, at [email protected]

Tonda Rush from NFPW interviews Senator Heidi Heitkamp about her support of student journalism in North Dakota 

Angela Smith
First Amendment Network Co-Director

Angela Smith is executive director emeritus of the Writers’ League of Texas. She is an award-winning freelance writer/editor and the author of Caribbean history bestseller “Steel Drums and Steelbands: A History.” A former reporter for the Associated Press, Angela is a communications consultant to numerous nonprofits. She is also a working musician (piano, cello, steel drum). She is a past president of Press Women of Texas and is co-chair of the NFPW First Amendment Network.

 Marsha Shuler
First Amendment Network Co-Director 

After ending a decades-long career in newspapers, Marsha Shuler continues to use her journalistic skills as policy manager for the State of Louisiana Commissioner of Administration. She previously was an award-winning state government reporter for The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge. A graduate of Centenary College, Marsha worked for The Shreveport Times before leaving in 1980 for the Baton Rouge job. The former president of NFPW and Louisiana Press Women also has been NFPW’s first and second vice president, secretary and regional director, and continues to serve as First Amendment chair. She’s a former president and longtime board member of the Capitol Correspondents Association.