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.
Online Media Legal Network: The Online Media Legal Network offers free and reduced cost legal assistance to qualifying journalism organizations.
Legal Issues Facing Nonprofit Start-Up Organizations – Foundation Center, San Francisco