New Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has launched a new legal guide for journalists who work online, covering everything from open records and court access to libel and Internet regulation.

The Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide is aim at “anyone who is disseminating news online” –  including independent bloggers and reporters working for major media outlets, as well as media lawyers.

Topic areas include:

  • Gathering News and Getting Information, such as rules for open records and meetings, access to courts, and newsgathering right of access to events/places.
  • Protecting and Defending Your Work, explaining what to do to protect sources and fight subpoenas, steps to take if there’s a threat or actual lawsuit libel, and how to handle invasion of privacy concerns.
  • Knowing the Legal Restrictions which covers understanding basic Internet regulation and how to protect a domain name, and copyright and trademark law covering both original work and “fair use” of other materials.