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Newsgathering Committee

The Newsgathering Committee focuses on legal issues involved in collecting news and information. These issues include source confidentiality, access to places and note retention policies.

To join this or any other committee, email us.

Committee Materials and Projects

Drones: Regulation and Practices
State Legislative, Federal Affairs and Newsgathering Committees, January 2018

Model Brief on Access to the Executive Branch
August 2017

Panic Book: The Fastest Possible Answers in an Emergency

Access to Public Employee Pension Records
November 2013

The MLRC Model Media Decorum Order for High Profile Cases
January 2011

She Wont Let Me Blog from the Courtroom
July 2010

Model Policy on Access and Use of Electronic Portable Devices in Courthouses and Courtrooms
June 2010

A Journalist’s Quick HIPAA Guide
May 2009

Points for Discussion on Journalistic Use of Anonymous Sources
July 2007

Compendium of State Statutes Protecting Whistleblowers
June 2007

Ride-Alongs Revisited Privacy Issues Raised by Special Access Granted to News Media by Law Enforcement
Feb. 2006

Media Liability for Breach of Promise to Maintain a Source’s Confidentiality after Cohen v. Cowles Media Co.
May 2004

Model Brief on Jury Access Issues
March 2004

Cases on Government Information Since 9/11
Oct. 2003

A New Federal Law May Impede Public Health Reporting
HIPAA, April 2003

Compendium of Judicial References to First Amendment Interests in Newsgathering
Nov. 2001

MLRC Materials

The Ongoing Assault on the Right to Photograph/Record in Public
MLRC Bulletin 2011 Issue 3

Managing Materials: What Some News Organizations Have Done
Newsgathering Committee, April 2008

2008 Model Trial Brief
Jan. 2008

Bulletin 2005 No. 4 Part B
Confidential Source Litigation: Lessons from 2005
Jan. 2006

Bulletin 2005 No. 4 Part A
When Government Shuts Out Critical Press: Government Retaliation and the First Amendment
Dec. 2005

Bulletin 2004 No. 4 Part 3
Media Access and Newsgathering in High Profile Cases
Jan. 2005

Bulletin 2002 No. 4 Part II
Post 9/11 Access: Responding to the National Security Challenge
Jan. 2003

News Gathering Practices After Bartnicki v. Vopper
LDRC Pre-Publication / Pre-Broadcast Review Committee Report, Nov. 2002

Note Retention Policies of Reporters AND Use of “Advice of Counsel” as a Defense by Reporters
LDRC Pre-Publication / Pre-Broadcast Review Committee Report, Sept. 2002

Use of “Advice of Counsel” as a Defense by Reporters
Sept. 2002

Bulletin 2002 No. 2
Criminal Prosecutions of the Press: The Espionage Act, Newsgathering Post-Bartnicki, Criminal Libel, Restricting Juror Interviews
March 2002

Reporting on the War on Terror: The Esionage Act and Other Scary Statutes
From Bulletin 2002 No. 2, March 2002

Bulletin 1998 No. 4A
1998 Significant Developments Part II: Legislation Aimed at “Paparazzi” Places All Journalists at Risk
Dec. 1998

Bulletin 1997 No. 2
Damage Considerations When the Press is Sued for Gathering the News
April 1997

Current Retraction Practice: An LDRC Survey

Bulletin No. 1
Includes N.J. Supreme Court to Consider Reporters Privilege in Libel Action
Summer 1981

Related Materials
Nov 2019

Espionage Act Prosecutions Against the Press

A collection of resources discussing the legislative history and statutory interpretation of the Espionage Act, assorted First Amendment issues implicated in a prosecution of the press, particular defenses under criminal law, the history of the publication of government secrets in the United States, the historical application of the Act, and more.

Feb 2018

Drones: Regulation and Practices

A report summarizing the FAA’s rules governing the use of a drone by members of the media. The report also covers other applicable federal regulations, best practices, criminal statutes that might be implicated with drone use, and potential developments in 2018, along with links to helpful portals, policies and other resources.

Aug 2017

Model Brief on Access to the Executive Branch

This Model Brief sets forth multiple constitutional arguments that could be made to obtain access to various activities of the executive branch.

Apr 2008

Model Brief on Newsgathering Claims

A brief setting forth arguments and legal authorities to form the basis for motions seeking dismissal, either addressing the face of pleaded claims, or, after completion of discovery, for summary judgment, of various claims based upon the conduct of newsgatherers in obtaining the information that results in publication or broadcast of news reports.