What We Do
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press provides pro bono legal representation, amicus curiae support, and other legal resources to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists.
The Reporters Committee serves news organizations, reporters, editors, documentary filmmakers, media lawyers, and many more who use our online resources. For updates on our work, sign up for our email list, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
How we can help
We can help journalists and newsrooms anywhere in the country with public records and court access issues, subpoena threats, source protection, and other issues that may arise while newsgathering.
We operate a Legal Hotline that is available to working journalists and media lawyers seven days a week. For reporters covering major events such as elections, presidential inaugurals, Olympics, and political party conventions, we create special event hotlines.
We conduct both general and specialty trainings for reporters and newsrooms on media law and newsgathering rights, public records, covering protests, vetting content, protecting sources, and more. To request a free training, get in touch.
Our Local Legal Initiative and ProJourn programs provide dedicated support to journalists in certain states where we’ve identified significant need. Through the Local Legal Initiative, attorneys based on the ground in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Tennessee work with reporters throughout their respective states. The ProJourn program connects journalists in California, Washington, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas with public records and pre-publication review matters to pro bono outside counsel who can help. In short, no matter where a journalist is located, they can contact the Reporters Committee for assistance.
Reporters Committee attorneys provide pro bono pre-publication legal services to freelance and independent journalists, including independent documentary filmmakers, through our partnerships.
We offer a number of fellowships and internships to build the next generation of free press reporters and media lawyers.
Our work in the courts
Reporters Committee attorneys pursue pro bono litigation and other direct representations in matters that involve First Amendment, press freedom, freedom of information, or court access issues.
The Reporters Committee regularly submits amicus, or “friend-of-the-court,” briefs in state, federal, and U.S. Supreme Court cases where the news media brings an important perspective. Known for building broad coalitions of major news and transparency organizations, the Reporters Committee is a voice for the right to freely gather and disseminate information in the public interest.
Reporters Committee publishes a number of legal guides for reporters and other media lawyers that are available free online on topics ranging from state and federal open government laws, reporters’ shield protections around the country, access to court documents and proceedings, and more.
Our attorneys and experts are available to offer comment on and analysis for stories with First Amendment and press freedom implications.
The Reporters Committee and its attorneys and staff work closely with other organizations to advocate for a free press and to ensure journalists, including documentary filmmakers, have access to pro bono legal support. Here are a few examples of our work in collaboration with others. If you would like to work with us, please get in touch.