For more than 40 years, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has provided free legal advice, resources, support and advocacy to protect the First Amendment and Freedom of Information rights of journalists working in areas where U.S. law applies, regardless of the medium in which their work appears.
Funded by corporate, foundation and individual contributions, the Reporters Committee serves more than 2,000 reporters, editors and media lawyers who call for help each year, as well as the tens of thousands who use its website.
And since its founding, no reporter has ever paid for the Committee’s help in defending First Amendment rights.
In addition to expert legal advice and referrals to volunteer media counsel around the country, the Reporters Committee offers:
- A 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.
Learn more at rcfp.org.