Revamped Reporters Committee website offers improved access to media law resources

Press Release | December 1, 2011

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today launched its redeveloped website, rcfp.org, which offers greater visibility for its key media law guides and more robust search capability in a better-organized format.

The website had not been revamped for 16 years. The site is designed specifically to ensure that traditional and digital journalists, media lawyers and others are aware of the committee’s free legal services and resources on media law issues.

“We are very excited about the re-launch of our website because it’s going to make the unique and comprehensive media law resources we provide free online much easier to use,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “As we build our outreach beyond traditional media, more people who need it will find the information accessible.”

The new site also gives the Reporters Committee the opportunity to expand in the future with mobile applications, webinars, video and other new technologies as they develop.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supported the redesign. Its contribution was matched by the Washington, D.C.-based Bauman Foundation and The Dow Jones Foundation.

This new site is part of an overall strategy by the Reporters Committee to enhance communications and attract new sources of funding.

“We believe the new website will help the Reporters Committee engage a new generation of digital journalists,” said Amy Starlight Lawrence, journalism program associate for Knight Foundation, “and reflects the commitment of the organization to connect with its online audience.”

Features of the revamped website include:

  • Quicker, more intuitive search and advanced search capability
  • Search by media law topic — Content Regulation, Freedom of Information, Libel, Newsgathering, Prior Restraints, Privacy, Reporter’s Privilege or Secret Courts
  • Search by media law resources — Briefs & Comments, Guides, News, the Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide or The News Media & The Law magazine
  • Cleaner, standardized design incorporating the colors and redesigned Reporters Committee logo throughout
  • Easy navigation to key pages including the Legal Defense Hotline, FOIA Letter Generator and Donation information
  • A new glossary of legal terms that users can choose to open if needed
  • Access to all Reporters Committee resources, including the Open Government Guide
  • Quick links to social media and updated feed from the Reporters Committee Twitter feed
  • An expanded “About Us” section with financial data, Steering Committee photos and bios, and quick links to fellowships, internships and jobs at the Reporters Committee.

The website runs on a new Drupal-based content management system which, along with the graphic design, was executed by Balance Interactive of Springfield, Va.

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.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.