Encino, Calif., July 7, 2015 — A collaboration to offer specialized legal expertise to nonprofit newsrooms based at universities was announced today by the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC).
Over the past six years the number of nonprofit newsrooms headquartered at universities has risen significantly, and many INN members are part of universities or are independent nonprofits partnering with universities.
The Student Press Law Center will help those newsrooms deal with the unique set of challenges they face, including the navigation of relationships with universities and their policies, privacy issues, and the involvement of student reporters.
The organizations plan to collaborate on training resources, both online and in-person, for member organizations of the Institute for Nonprofit News.
"The center of gravity of investigative reporting is tipping from the newsrooms in which we all grew up to the 'lab,' with amazing promise and potential — and some uncertainties as well," said Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C.
LoMonte added, "What we uniquely bring to bear is expertise not just with media law but with the additional wrinkles that occur when journalism is being done in the campus setting — student-privacy issues, ownership uncertainties, and so on."
Part of INN's mission has been to assist its 100 member organizations in finding free or low-cost legal advice, and INN's Interim CEO and Executive Director Denise Malan lauded the collaboration.
"We are thrilled to be working with the Student Press Law Center," she said. "Our members will benefit greatly from its expertise and experience helping journalists within university settings."
The SPLC operates a free attorney hotline service and a network of more than 160 pro-bono attorneys around the country who represent students in all manner of media-law cases, from getting their confiscated cameras back from the police to pre-publication libel review.
The organization traditionally has helped student-run publications, but with growth in independent organizations based at universities, LoMonte said the SPLC is broadening its focus to nonprofit newsrooms as well.
About the Institute for Nonprofit News
The Institute for Nonprofit News (formerly the Investigative News Network) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability in the nonprofit investigative and public service sector. INN was founded in 2009 to help the increasing number of nonprofit newsrooms produce and distribute stories with impact, achieve cost efficiencies by pooling resources, and develop new revenue streams to become sustainable businesses. For more, visit www.INN.org or follow us on Twitter @INN.
About the Student Press Law Center
The Student Press Law Center is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, for freedom of online speech and for open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to student journalists and the educators who work with them. The SPLC is based in Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.splc.org.