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
  • Fax: 850-414-2641
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.myfloridalegal.com
  • 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, Director Of Legal Office at the Office Of The Attorney General Ashley Moody

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
  • Fax: 352-392-9173
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.brechner.org
  • 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: Frank LoMonte, Director

First Amendment Foundation

  • Address: 336 E. College Ave., Suite 101, Tallahassee, FL 32301-1554
  • FOI Hotline: 850-222-3518 or toll-free 800-337-3518
  • Fax: 850-224-0435
  • Email:  [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.floridafaf.org
  • 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: Carol Jean Locicero, Attorney, Thomas & LociceroChairwoman

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
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.flpress.com
  • 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, [email protected]

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
  • Fax: 573-882-5431
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.ire.org
  • 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: Doug Haddix, Executive Director

Media Law Resource Center

  • Address: 520 Eighth Ave, North Tower- 20th Floor, New York, NY 10018
  • Phone: 212-337-0200
  • Fax: 212-337-9893
  • Website: http://www.medialaw.org
  • 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: George Freeman, Executive Director

National Freedom of Information Coalition

  • Address: 101 E Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, MO, 65211-0012
  • Phone: 573-882-4856
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.nfoic.org
  • Areas: Federal, state and international freedom of information laws; wide range of media law and ethics topics: research available on request.
  • Contact: Daniel Bevarly, 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
  • Fax: 703-807-2109
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.rcfp.org
  • 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, [email protected]

Society of Professional Journalists

  • Address: 3909 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208
  • Phone: 317-927-8000
  • Fax: 317-920-4789
  • Website: http://www.spj.org
  • 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.

Student Press Law Center

  • Address: 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209
  • Phone: 703-807-1904
  • Website: http://www.splc.org
  • Areas: Press freedom issues relating to high school and college journalists and freedom of information issues involving college and university records and meetings.
  • Contact: Hadar Harris, Executive Director, [email protected]

The Freedom Forum- First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University

  • Address: 1207 18th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212
  • Phone: 615-727-1600
  • Fax: 615-727-1319
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Websites: http://www.freedomforum.org/http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/
  • 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, [email protected]

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.