LeGeyt Praises Broadcast News’ Role In Fighting Misinformation


NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt emphasized the crucial role of traditional media and a free press in combating misinformation during his speech at The Media Institute‘s Free Speech America Gala. The event coincided with Free Speech Week, an annual nationwide celebration of First Amendment rights.

The gala honored renowned journalist Bob Woodward and former FCC Chairman Michael Powell for their contributions to First Amendment rights. LeGeyt highlighted Woodward’s fearless investigative reporting, which has held both Democratic and Republican administrations accountable. He also praised Powell’s ability to cut through political divisions and advocate for innovations in free speech and media during his time at the FCC and now as the CEO of NCTA.

LeGeyt pointed out the pressing challenges facing journalism today, including a pervasive tide of online misinformation. According to Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans see “false information online” as a significant threat to democracy. This issue disproportionately affects marginalized communities and is exacerbated by the rise of AI tools and relaxed content moderation by tech companies.

The problem of misinformation extends beyond domestic issues. LeGeyt noted the role of fake news in international conflicts, citing misleading reports during recent conflict in the Middle East. He applauded responsible broadcasters for their rigorous vetting of information, contrasting this with the shortcomings of social media platforms.

LeGeyt called on journalists to be relentless in their pursuit of truth, stating that trusted journalism is the antidote to misinformation. He urged media professionals to remember their vital role in safeguarding democracy and to work collectively to ensure that the press remains a reliable source of information for future generations.

“In closing, I want to thank you again for being here. When we leave here tonight, I ask you to remember this: throughout history, our free press has endured through chaos and strife, victory and triumph. Bob, Michael and all of you are the custodians of this truth, entrusted with the critical mission of reporting the facts, uncovering corruption, and amplifying the voices of our diverse communities. Working together, we will ensure that the strength and freedom of the press are unwavering,” said LeGeyt.



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