January 26, 2015

Reporters Committee Partners With INN As A Media Law Resource For Nonprofit News Organizations

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has partnered with the Investigative News Network to provide its more than 100 non-profit news organization members with First Amendment, newsgathering, and other media law resources and guidance developed by Reporters Committee attorneys.

“Our partnership with INN is a terrific opportunity for our staff attorneys to help non-profit news organizations obtain answers to their legal questions and, if needed, referrals to local counsel,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown. “This should be especially helpful to many of the newer INN members who may not be as familiar with the Reporters Committee and its resources. I hope that our new role as INN’s go-to partner for media law assistance will encourage its members to turn to us when they are confronting challenges in gathering and disseminating the news or are facing other legal issues in their businesses.”

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was founded by leading journalists and media lawyers in 1970, at a time when the nation’s news media faced a wave of government subpoenas asking reporters to name confidential sources.

Today it provides pro bono legal advocacy, resources, and support to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists. Funded by corporate, foundation, and individual contributions, the Reporters Committee serves the nation’s leading news organizations,  thousands of reporters, editors, and media lawyers, and many more who use our online and mobile resources.

“We look forward to helping protect the free press rights of non-profit news organizations as we have done for all news media organizations for the past 45 years,” Brown added.

"Nonprofit news publishers are an increasingly important part of the American journalism and media fabric,” said Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of INN, the Investigative News Network. “Having access to leading legal expertise is essential for these organizations who seek to bring truth to power. We are delighted to have the support of and access to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press for our member news publishers."

In addition to expert legal advice and referrals to volunteer media counsel around the country, the Reporters Committee offers:

  • Legal Defense Hotline available to working journalists in any medium and media lawyers 24 hours and day, seven days a week.
  • Amicus Briefs and Statements of Support both alone and in conjunction with major news and transparency organizations, the Reporters Committee files or participates in more than 20 briefs each year with the U.S. Supreme Court and in federal and state courts. It is a voice of support for the right to freely gather and disseminate information in any form.
  • Publications and Resources available free online on topics ranging from state and federal open government laws, access to electronic records, reporters’ shield laws around the country, access to court documents and proceedings, and more.
  • Rapid Responses to reporter inquiries on media law stories.
  • Regional Training Seminars to help emerging and established online investigative news sites navigate the particular legal issues of electronic newsgathering.
  • Special Events Reporters Hotlines for reporters who might encounter difficulties covering events such as presidential inaugurals, Olympics, political party conventions and the like.
  • Fellowships and Internships for the next generation of free press reporters and lawyers. Legal fellows handle hotline calls and other queries, draft briefs and write for Reporters Committee publications.
  • Niche law guides on topics ranging from FOIA appeals to American Indian law.

For more information about the Reporters Committee, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow on Twitter @rcfp.