Several news media organizations are joining together to provide a legal hotline for reporters who encounter restrictions or threats of arrests while covering the election next Tuesday.
The hotline can be reached by phone (800-336-4243), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Reporters Committee website (www.rcfp.org/election_hotline).
The website also has a short primer on legal issues affecting journalists at polling places. Lawyers willing to be on-call in their areas can also submit their information on that web page.
“While we hope things go smoothly on Election Day, this has been an unusual election for the news media,” according to Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce Brown. “We want to make sure that journalists who encounter official interference can be defended promptly so they can get back to covering one of the most important news events in recent memory.”
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is being joined by the Media Law Resource Center, News Media Alliance (formerly Newspaper Association of America), and the Online News Association in providing the service.