New App Details Journalist’s Rights

This blogger has just found the next app he plans to install on his Android tablet.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press launched their first app yesterday. FirstAid promises to be a useful tool in the arsenal of every mobile journalist.

One problem that I hear often, in reading about those who cover the news, is that journalists are often blocked from seeing records, taking photos and other legitimate activities. All too often the journalist is denied access with the claim that some law denies it. With this app journalists will be able to fight back.

e, as well as direct connections to our phone and email hotlines. This gives them the immediate information they need to fight back against barrier to access and documents.

The app includes a database, organized by state, of all the relevant laws that might impact a journalist in their daily work. It’s basically a digital version of the old-style paper note cards reporters used to carry around to protest courts and meetings closures. The new version has been updated for the modern er, and it  gives journalists immediate info about access, libel, confidential sources and the like. Key sections include:

  • Gathering the news
  • Court access
  • Public meetings
  • Public records
  • Reporter’s Privilege
  • Libel

You can also use the app to direct dial one of several emergency hotlines that have been set up to help defend journalists when they are unreasonably attacked.