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McGuireWoods LLP will work with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to provide a free 24-hour legal hotline for journalists who find themselves impeded or arrested while covering events during the Democratic National Convention on September 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C.
The McGuireWoods team will be led by Jonathan Buchan, a partner in the firm’s media law practice who works in the Charlotte office. The firm joins the previously announced lineup of Thomas & LoCicero in Tampa, which will provide counsel as needed during the Republican National Convention, Aug. 27-30; and Mandell Menkes LLC in Chicago, which will be on call for journalists during the G-8 Summit May 15-22.
Local phone numbers will be established closer to the conventions and will be announced on the Reporters Committee website. As a backup, journalists can always call the Reporters Committee’s main hotline at 800-336-4243, which operates 24/7 year round.
The Reporters Committee hotlines are available to all working members of the news media regardless of medium or affiliation. The Reporters Committee has coordinated these political convention hotlines every four years since 1972.
“While I wish there could be no worries about reporters and photographers being arrested or stopped from doing their jobs, police behavior at previous political conventions and media arrests at various Occupy protests warn us otherwise,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “So I’m pleased that the Reporters Committee and our partner law firms in these cities can ensure that journalists can worry about getting the story, not about getting legal help.”
About the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.