Every major political protest recently — from World Bank meetings to the Elian Gonzales case to the Republican convention — has had one thing in common: the arrest of, interference with or outright assault on journalists covering the news. To prevent or at least minimize these disruptions during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles next week, a hotline has been established to ensure that cost-free legal assistance will be only a telephone call away.
In cooperation with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, attorneys with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP have volunteered to operate a 24-hour MEDIA HOTLINE for credentialed journalists covering the convention. The Los Angeles Police Department and other officials will cooperate with HOTLINE lawyers to minimize problems for journalists arrested or detained during demonstrations or other disturbances that occur during the convention. The lawyers staffing the HOTLINE will be Gary Bostwick, Alonzo Wickers and Susan Seager.
The HOTLINE number is (310) 293-4504, and will be available to all journalists carrying Democratic National Convention credentials throughout the convention. In addition, the general Reporters Committee hotline will be available as a backup at (800) 336-4243. Copies of a flyer, which outlines procedures for resolving problems arising from detention or arrest, will be available at the Media Operations Center in Los Angeles, or from our web site at https://www.rcfp.org/news/releases/dnc2000.pdf .
The Washington-based Reporters Committee, a nonprofit association of reporters and editors established in 1970, provides cost-free legal advice and research assistance to journalists and their lawyers. The Reporters Committee has established such hotlines at national conventions since 1972.
For further information, contact Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director, at the Reporters Committee, (703) 807-2100, or Gary Bostwick, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, (213) 633-6800.