Reporter's Recording Guide

August 1, 2012


This guide was researched and written by McCormick Legal Fellow Kristen Rasmussen, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Legal Fellow Jack Komperda and legal intern Raymond Baldino. They built on the work of legal fellows and interns who contributed to previous editions. Funding for this publication provided by the MoCormick Foundation. © 2012 by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100, Arlington, Va. 22209.  

Important notice

This guide is meant as a general introduction for journalists to the state of the law concerning electronic recording and its implications. It does not take the place of legal advice from a lawyer in your state when you are confronted with a legal problem. Journalists who have additional questions or who need to find a lawyer can contact the Reporters Committee at (800) 336-4243.

Because this guide was written with the needs of journalists in mind, it does not address all aspects of electronic recording laws, including the issues of taping family members’ calls and using a tape recording as evidence in a lawsuit or prosecution. Non-journalists who have questions about taping should contact an attorney in their state.