The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

October 20, 2009

This non-profit group, founded in 1970, is dedicated to helping journalists defend their First Amendment rights at no cost. Beyond that, it hosts a great web site which is full of useful information about Freedom of the Press issues. News articles are posted frequently, often concerning cases litigated by the Committee. There is an online reading room, where you can find copies of The News Media and the Law, RCFP’s quarterly magazine, as well as white papers and guidebooks to educate journalists on legal issues and information access techniques. There is a booklet entitled The First Amendment Handbook, which is “a basic primer on the laws affecting reporter’s rights to gather and disseminate news.”
Their “Open Government” guides explain open access laws on the federal level and for each state.

There is an extensive archive of amicus briefs that have been filed over the past decade. In the past the committee was involved in two major supreme court decisions: Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart and Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

In addition to free legal support, initiated through a toll free legal defense hotline, journalists may take advantage of FOIL request assistance, including a free FOIL letter generator.

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