The Florida Bar

Reporter's Handbook

Media Law Resource List

(Updated by J. Scott McKee 2013)

Attorney General's Office
Address: Capitol, PL-l, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Phone: (850) 245-0140
Facsimile: (850) 414-2641

Web Site:
Areas: Can answer questions about application of Florida's open records and meetings laws, but cannot comment on whether violation has occurred in specific case. Can help resolve disputes about access to records and meetings through Open Government Mediation Program. The informal and voluntary program is available to lawyers representing the media and government agencies.
Contact: Patricia Gleason, General Counsel to Attorney General, Pam Bondi

Brechner Center for Freedom of Information
Address: P.O. Box 118400, 3208 Weimer Hall, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8400
Phone: (352) 392-2273
Facsimile: (352) 392-9173
Web Site:
Areas: Access to electronic records; policy and regulations regarding access to electronic documents; access to public meetings and records; setting up media coverage plans for high profile court cases.
Contact: Sandra F. Chance, Executive Director

First Amendment Foundation
Address: 336 E. College Ave., Suite 101, Tallahassee, FL 32301-1554
Phone: (850) 222-3518 or 1-800-337-3518
Facsimile: (850) 224-0435
Web Site:
Areas: Access to public records generally and electronically as well as access to meetings. Can provide referrals to lawyers around Florida willing to handle access problems.
Contact: Tim Nickens, Editor of Editorials, Tampa Bay Times- Chairman

The Florida Bar Media and Communications Law Committee
Address: 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300
Phone: (850) 561-5600
Areas: Plans annual Media Law Conference, produces and updates the Reporter's Handbook. Explores topical legal issues pertaining to communications methods including print, broadcast, cable and emerging technologies.
Contact: See the current committee member listing.

Florida Press Association
Address: 336 East College Avenue, Suite 203, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 521-1199
Web Site:
Areas: Provides lobbying for Florida newspapers. Can answer questions regarding legislative changes in the Sunshine Law and other laws and regulations that impact newspapers. Can respond to questions about application of the Sunshine Law, libel and newspaper business operations such as advertising and taxation.
Contact: Samuel J. Morley, General Counsel,

Investigative Reporters and Editors/National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting
Address: 141 Neff Annex, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, MO, 65211
Phone: (573) 882-2042 (IRE)
Database Library: (573) 884-7711
Facsimile: (573) 882-5431
Web Site:
Areas: Research services available through library that includes 10,000 investigative reporting projects. Guidance available on investigative reporting techniques and on how to obtain government records electronically.
Contact: Mark Horvit, Executive Director

Media Law Resource Center
Address: 520 Eighth Ave, North Tower- 20
th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 337-0200
Facsimile: (212) 337-9893
Web Site:
Areas: Libel, privacy and related claims regarding information gathering and reporting. Research information available on these topics and analysis available on areas such as damages, U.S. Supreme Court trends and independent appellate review.
Contact: Sandra Baron, Executive Director,

National Freedom of Information Coalition
Address: 101E Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, MO, 65211-0012
Phone: (573) 882-4856
Web Site:
Areas: Federal, state and international freedom of information laws; wide range of media law and ethics topics: research available on request.
Contact: Ken Bunting, Executive Director

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Address: 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: (703) 807-2100
Phone: (800) 336-4243
Facsimile: (703) 807-2109
Web Site:
Areas: Freedom of Information Act; access to court documents and legal proceedings; libel and privacy; subpoenas of reporters; state open records and meetings laws. Variety of publications available.
Contact: Bruce Brown, Executive Director,

Society of Professional Journalists
Address: 3909 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone: (317) 927-8000
Facsimile: (317) 920-4789
Web Site:
Areas: SPJ's Freedom of Information Committee focuses on access to meetings and records. The Legal Defense Fund is available to journalists who need legal advice. Project Sunshine can match journalists with coordinators in their state who have expertise on that state's open records and meetings laws.
Contact: Joe Skeel, Executive Director (phone extension #216)

Student Press Law Center
Address: 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: (703) 807-1904
Web Site:
Areas: Press freedom issues relating to high school and college journalists and freedom of information issues involving college and university records and meetings.
Contact: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director,

The Freedom Forum- First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University
Address: 1207 18th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: (615) 727-1600
Facsimile: (615) 727-1319
Web Sites:
Areas: The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the right to assemble and to petition the government. The center’s website features daily updates on news about First Amendment-related developments.
Contact: Gene Policinski, Senior Vice President and Executive Director

Authored by the Media & Communications Law Committee, the handbook serves as a resource guide for members of the media about topics in the legal profession.

[Revised: 2013]