Other Legal Resources

For organizations looking for guidance and assistance in pursuing 501(c)3 determination from the IRS we suggest the Interactive Guide to the IRS Decision-Making Process under Section 501(c)(3) for Journalism and Publishing Non-Profits from the Digital Media Law Project, written by Jeff Hermes.

A comprehensive list of organizations which provide useful information on media law can be found within the Digital Media Law Project’s Legal Guide. Of particular interest for investigative journalism outlets are:

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society: Home of the Digital Media Law Project’s Legal Guide. This Guide is constantly updated with new information pertaining to media law, and is an invaluable resource for organizations without a dedicated legal department. The guide includes information about obtaining non-profit status, responding to legal threats, and detailed information about privacy, intellectual property, and newsgathering laws, among others.

Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP): The Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press is an organization that provides legal assistance and resources to journalists. They provide several excellent guides, and a free legal services hotline.

Public Citizen: Public Citizen is a non-profit organization that does a variety of policy work in Washington DC, one area of which surrounds media law. The site has a highly informative guide on avoiding libel suits, as well as information about a number of other First Amendment topics.

The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism has put together a legal guide for digital start-ups. INN members should note that this is not a nonprofit-specific guide.

Online Media Legal Network: The Online Media Legal Network offers free and reduced cost legal assistance to qualifying journalism organizations.

More information about the Online Media Legal Network.

Additional Reading

Legal Issues Facing Nonprofit Start-Up OrganizationsFoundation Center, San Francisco