Reporters Committee apps

 


Covering Schools


Cops and Courts


Recording Rights


First Aid

The Reporters Committee has published four mobile apps for iOS, Android and Kindle devices, designed to give on-the-spot resources to reporters who may have legal questions or encounter roadblocks while on assignment. All are free to download and use. (See our Privacy Policy.)

First Aid, released in 2012, covers a range of issues reporters may encounter while covering the news. It was developed with support from the Stanton Foundation.

The newest apps, released in 2015 with grant support from the Gannett Foundation, are topic-specific resources based on the areas most asked about on the Reporters Committee hotline. They are: Covering Schools, Cops and Courts, and Recording Rights. More information about each is below.

StoryBase: All your reporting elements in one place

Included in each of the new, topic-specific apps is a unique feature called StoryBase (sample pictured left; click for larger view), which gives reporters the ability to collect notes, Web links, video and audio recordings, photos, contacts and locations, and then export that information to other computers when it's time to write or file the story.

Each of the specialty apps also includes a Legal Guide and the ability to post directly to Social Media.

 

Covering Schools

Public schools have increasingly been the focus of significant crime, emergency and other unfortunate news events. Journalists reporting these stories face particular challenges covering minors and trying to obtain school records. With this app, journalists will have ready access to state-specific law and other guidelines for interviewing students and accessing school records.

Sample images: (click for larger views)

 

Cops and Courts

As witnessed in Ferguson, Mo., in the summer of 2014 and by beat reporters everywhere who routinely try to get information, police departments can be less than forthcoming when it comes to releasing information. This app provides specific information about laws regarding the release of records such as arrest reports, search warrants and affidavits, and about interviewing legal parties and jurors.

Sample images: (click for larger views)

 

Recording Rights

Journalists sometimes face uncertainly about their right to make an audio or video recording of a conversation or a public occurrence such as an arrest on the street. This is compounded when officials demand that taping stop and/or that the recording be deleted. This app will ensure that journalists have immediate access to the recording laws of their state.

Sample images: (click for larger views)

 

First Aid

The Reporters Committee First Aid app is designed to help journalists who need quick answers to legal issues that arise while covering the news. It is meant as a quick solution during an urgent situation, such as when a judge or other official is keeping you from a hearing or a meeting, or a police officer is threatening you with arrest. More extensive assistance with media law issues is available through our web site.

First Aid also provides quick access to our hotline for any media law issues, either by phone or email.

The Reporters Committee and this app are available for journalists of all varieties, whether you work for a national news organization or a neighborhood news blog. We never charge for our assistance.

Sample images: (click for larger views)

To find our apps:

iPhone/iPad: Search the Apple/iTunes App Library for "Reporters Committee," or follow this link on your device.

Android: Search Google Play for "Reporters Committee, or follow this link on your device.

Kindle Fire users can search the Amazon Android Appstore or follow this link.

Support:

Visit our support page.

Suggestions:

Let us know if you have any suggestions or questions. We wrote these apps to assist journalists with legal issues that come up as they're covering a story, so if you're one of those journalists and you have a question that isn't answered in the app, let us know and we'll get right on it. We can update the information in the app without needing to release a new version, so we're always interested in hearing from users.


Privacy Policy

We will not collect or compile information about your usage, except as necessary to maintain the operation of our service or ensure compliance with these terms of service. We will not intentionally disclose information about your account or usage to any other party under any circumstances, except in compliance with a properly issued subpoena. We will attempt to contact you for an opportunity to oppose such a subpoena before we comply if you have submitted an email address with any material stored on our site.

StoryBase exports. In order for users to transfer material from the app to their own computers, we have created a temporary storage system. Your data will be stored on this site for less than two days. You should remove your data from our site as soon as you no longer need it on the transfer server. We will not access your data ourselves, except if necessary in the course of fixing an error with the web site or storage system.We have not created a secure, password-protected system, because this is meant to be a means of temporary storage for immediate transfer. Anyone who obtains your key and knows your email address may be able to retrieve your data, so it is important that you keep the key secret and remove any sensitive data as soon as you no longer need it to reside on our server.

Email address. We require your email address for StoryBase exports, so that we can notify you of the download link. We optionally collect your email when you submit a comment for the Legal Guide; this is done so that you can request that a comment under your name be deleted, and so that you can optionally be notified when others post comments. However, your email address will not be displayed with a comment. We do not use your email for other purposes.