Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, The (RCFP)
- Homepage: http://www.rcfp.org/
May 2008: "The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was created in 1970 at a time when the nation's news media faced a wave of government subpoenas asking reporters to name confidential sources.
One case particularly galvanized American journalists. New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell was ordered to reveal to a federal grand jury his sources in the Black Panther organization, threatening his independence as a newsgatherer.
Caldwell's dilemma prompted a meeting at Georgetown University to discuss the need to provide legal assistance to journalists when their First Amendment rights come under fire. Among those present, or involved soon afterwards, were J. Anthony Lukas, Murray Fromson, Fred Graham, Jack Nelson, Ben Bradlee, Eileen Shanahan, Mike Wallace, Robert Maynard and Tom Wicker.
They formed a committee that operated part-time and on a shoestring (its first "office" was a desk in the press room at the U.S. Supreme Court). With support from foundations and news organizations, the founders built a staff and began recruiting attorneys to donate their services....
By the time executive director Lucy A. Dalglish took over in 2000, the Committee was poised to build on its considerable reputation. After the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, the Committee became the nation's leading authority on efforts to prevent important information from reaching the public. Its "Homefront Confidential" reports and "Behind the Homefront" weblog are authoritative summaries of what has happened to the public's right to know in the post-9/11 world.
In recent years, the Committee has taken the lead in building coalitions with other media-related organizations to protect reporters' rights to keep sources confidential and to keep an eye on legislative efforts that impact the public's right to know. It also has aggressively sought opportunities to speak out nationwide through amicus curiae briefs filed on behalf of journalists.
In the last four decades the Committee has played a role in virtually every significant press freedom case that has come before the Supreme Court -- from Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart to U.S. v. Moussaoui -- as well as in hundreds of cases in federal and state courts.
The Committee has also emerged as a major national -- and international -- resource in free speech issues, disseminating information in a variety of forms, including a quarterly legal review, a bi-weekly newsletter, a 24-hour hotline, and various handbooks on media law issues. Academicians, state and federal agencies, and Congress regularly call on the Committee for advice and expertise, and it has become the leading advocate for reporters' interest in cyberspace.
Important as these activities are, the Committee's primary mission remains serving working journalists -- 2,000 of them every year. And since its founding, no reporter has ever paid for the Committee's help in defending First Amendment rights. This is the incarnation of the founders' vision and the Committee's proudest achievement."http://http://www.rcfp.org/about.html
May 2007: Courtroom decorum orders are fairly routine, says Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. But such orders must come from the judge, not from courtroom officials enforcing an unwritten rule, she says.http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0514/p25s02-usju.html
December 2005: 'So I went looking for it. I checked with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and found its Photographers' Guide to Privacy....Publishing photos has some different restraints, although they're civil, not criminal. Break one of these "rules" and, while you won't go to jail, you could find yourself on the short end of a lawsuit. (Although, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, "the subject's remedy usually will not include the ability to bar the publication of the picture.)"'http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-12-29-camera-laws_x.htm
Role Name Type Last Updated Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Source Cooperation (past or present) Student Press Law Center (SPLC) Organization Feb 19, 2008 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Lucy Dalglish Esq. Person Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Prof. Jane E. Kirtley Esq. Person Organization Executive (past or present) Gregg Leslie Esq. Person Aug 26, 2006 Advised by (past or present) Tony Mauro Person May 19, 2006
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 13, 2010 Recording Customer Service Calls to India
QUOTE: Last month, I wrote a Bucks post, “When and Why You Should Record Customer Service Calls,” with resources and guidelines for recording customer service calls....in this age of outsourcing, customer service representatives are often in other countries, like India or Ireland or a few other places. Which begs the question: What recording guidelines should one follow if the customer service representative is elsewhere?
New York Times Aug 31, 2009 Shrinking Newsrooms Wage Fewer Battles for Public Access to Courtrooms (Sidebar)
QUOTE: You don’t see newspapers fighting to open court proceedings the way they used to, and people are starting to notice.
New York Times Jul 13, 2009 Chasing Terrorists (and TV Ratings)
QUOTE: the cooperation between the former intelligence officers and NBC News — that has raised red flags among a number of veteran journalists, including some within NBC. They say they find it troubling that “The Wanted” blurs the boundaries between government agents and supposedly impartial journalists.
New York Times Mar 27, 2009 FAA to seal bird-strike records
QUOTE: Paul Eschenfelder, an airline pilot who teaches a course in airport bird management, said a string of recent accidents suggests the risks from birds is increasing and the FAA has not done enough to address the problem. "Keeping (the data) secret is not helping at all," he said.
USA TODAY May 14, 2007 Reporters face unusual limits at Padilla terror trial: Security officers might prevent reporters from asking questions of defense lawyers or federal prosecutors under certain circumstances.
QUOTE: In effect, newspaper, radio, and television reporters are being granted observer status – they may sit quietly, watch the trial, and take notes. But if during a court recess they approach a defense lawyer or prosecutor in the courtroom with a question, they risk being whisked away by security officials.
Christian Science Monitor Mar 15, 2007 Media Fight Request to Close Parts of Israel Lobbyists' Trial
QUOTE: The case has First Amendment implications, with some lawyers saying it criminalizes the type of information exchange that is common among journalists, lobbyists and others in Washington. Prosecutors argue that disclosing sensitive defense information could harm national security.
Washington Post Aug 19, 2006 Ruling Raises Bar in Lobbyists' Case: Government Now Must Prove Former AIPAC Workers Intended to Harm U.S.
QUOTE: The federal judge who last week refused to throw out charges of conspiring to violate the 1917 Espionage Act against two former pro-Israel lobbyists simultaneously made it much more difficult for the government to prove its case against them, attorneys for the defendants and First Amendment advocates contend.
Washington Post Jun 06, 2006 No relief for reporters seeking to shield sources
QUOTE: Four journalists have lost their bid to reverse a judge's order to either disclose their confidential sources or face $500 per day in fines.
Christian Science Monitor May 13, 2006 Secrecy Privilege Invoked in Fighting Ex-Detainee's Lawsuit
QUOTE: For at least the fifth time in the past year, the Justice Department yesterday invoked the once rarely cited state secrets privilege to argue that a lawsuit alleging government wrongdoing should be dismissed without an airing
Washington Post Dec 29, 2005 New digital camera? Know how, where you can use it (CyberSpeak)
QUOTE: ...I started to wonder about the laws regarding using them. Where can you shoot? What can you shoot?....don't take this as legal advice; it's one columnist's researched understanding of the law. If you can see it, you can shoot it
USA TODAY Dec 07, 2005 Lip-Service Journalism: If protecting sources is paramount, why don't more reporters go to jail?
QUOTE: American reporters have been going to jail to protect their sources since at least 1848....the Washington press corps thinks that protecting confidential sources is essential to doing its job—except when jail time is a possible consequence of doing that job.
Slate Nov 12, 2005 Media Tangled in Lobbyist Case: Press Freedoms Debated After Wiretapping of Call to Reporter
QUOTE: In a city where secrets of varying import are whispered every day, the case has sparked a debate about whether prosecutors are attempting to criminalize conversations with journalists. While the pending trial of the two former staffers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been overshadowed by the CIA leak investigation, media advocates fear it could have an equally negative impact on the flow of information.
Washington Post Apr 24, 2003 F.B.I. Opens Inquiry Into Seizure of Documents From Associated Press
QUOTE: "The F.B.I. does not have the right to seize material without a warrant, without even notifying anyone, and just making it vanish,"..."That, in our minds, is completely illegal."
New York Times Apr 03, 2003 States put a leash on information
QUOTE: ...sealing information prevents the media and the public from assessing whether the government is adequately protecting citizens. Keeping information provided by businesses secret, they say, could help companies hide incriminating evidence about lax security or environmental contamination.
USA TODAY Nov 13, 2002 The Internet faces a free-speech test
QUOTE: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear challenges to a pair of state laws that require sex offenders to register personal facts in publicly accessible databases, in a legal showdown that could set new rules for access to information in the digital age.
CNET Aug 27, 2002 Court Backs Open Deportation Hearings in Terror Cases
QUOTE: ...the Bush administration acted unlawfully in holding hundreds of deportation hearings in secret based only on the government's assertion that the people involved may have links to terrorism.
New York Times Aug 04, 2002 After Sept. 11, a Legal Battle Over Limits of Civil Liberty
QUOTE: The roundup that followed the [9/11] attacks....has produced few if any law enforcement coups....has provoked a sprawling legal battle, now being waged in federal courthouses around the country, that experts say has begun to redefine the delicate balance between individual liberties and national security.
New York Times Jul 03, 2002 Freedom of Information Under Attack
QUOTE: Trauma from the worst civilian loss of life on American soil and the resultant "war on terrorism" without borders have all contributed to an historic assault on openness and the public's access to information by government officials at all levels.
Center for Public Integrity Dec 15, 2001 For Jailed Writer, Prison Time is Study in Ethics, Experience
QUOTE: ...a judge ordered Leggett, 33, locked up at the request of a federal prosecutor after she refused to cooperate in the investigation of a notorious Houston homicide...She says she promised anonymity...Leggett isn't formally affiliated with any news organization.
Washington Post Jan 01, 1111 The Fully-Automated Fill-in-the-Blanks FOI Letter Generator
QUOTE: Submitting a FOI request to a federal agency is not difficult, but a complete, well-written request may help you avoid delays and further correspsondence with a government agency. The form below is designed to help you create a simple FOI letter. It asks you for all pertinent information, guides you through the options available, and even lists a number of federal agencies and their addresses.
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