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Reporter’s Recording Guide

The Reporter’s Recording Guide provides a summary of each state’s laws governing the recording of phone calls and in-person conversations and how those laws affect newsgathering.

Because many of these laws have criminal penalties and some also permit civil lawsuits, this guide should not take the place of legal advice from a lawyer. Journalists with additional questions or who need to find a lawyer can contact the Reporters Committee’s legal hotline.

If you’re a new user of this guide, be sure to read the Introduction to the Reporter’s Recording Guide. The introduction covers the types of state laws that restrict recording activities; consent requirements; criminal and civil penalties; restrictions adopted by the Federal Communications Commission that apply to broadcasters; and other special circumstances.

See something that needs updating? Please email us at You can reference the 2012 version of this guide here.