American Booksellers for Free Expression Introduces “Counterspeak” Podcast

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Counterspeak podcast cover artThe American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) will host a new podcast, Counterspeak, beginning next week. Counterspeak, co-hosted by Director of ABFE Dave Grogan, ABA Content Development Director Sydney Jarrard, and ABA Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator Maria Peroni, will highlight free expression and First Amendment issues. The first episode of the monthly podcast will be available for download on Thursday, December 6.

“Free speech is under attack from all sides, so we felt a podcast highlighting the importance of free expression was timely,” said Grogan. “Our podcast, we hope, will be a welcome space for open dialogue and discussion. Sydney, Maria, and I come at this from different points of view, and that is a good thing. But one thing the three of us agree on is that the First Amendment is crucial to the health of our democracy. The podcast will oftentimes feature guests discussing their work on First Amendment issues, and my co-hosts and I will discuss free speech issues in the news.”

The title of the podcast is derived from the concept of speech and dialogue as a powerful tool of resistance, and Counterspeak’s first interview exemplifies this idea. Nadine Strossen, former president of the American Civil Liberties Union and author of the book Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship (Oxford University Press), discusses how well-intended efforts to suppress hate speech have often backfired and resulted in the silencing of marginalized groups. Instead, Strossen argues, the most effective tool against hateful rhetoric is, in fact, free speech.

The podcast will feature interviews with experts on the First Amendment and discussions on relevant current events. The first episode will be posted next Thursday, December 6; watch BTW for details. A new episode will be available on the first Thursday of every month.