Charitable State Registration May Be Missed by Many Nonprofit News Organizations

Clifford Perlman

This is a guest post from Cliff Perlman, Attorney At Law with Perlman & Perlman. Although Investigative News Network members may not solicit funds in many places or receive large sums, it is nevertheless important to understand the laws that apply to your various fundraising efforts. Failure to comply can lead not only to fines from the state in which you solicit and such failure can also lead to bad publicity which can hurt you and the Network on many levels. It is important for you to understand how charitable fundraising activities are regulated. This article provides an overview of charitable solicitation. Continue Reading →

A Lawyer’s View: Bulletproofing your Tweets

The Value of Social Media for gathering information, developing your public persona as a journalist, and promoting your work is well-recognized, writes Jeff Hermes, Director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Yet promoting investigative work on social media platforms poses special challenges. In an article for INN, Hermes, who operates the Online Media Legal Network, details the issues at play and offers some guidelines to consider. Among them:

*Never say anything about the story in a social media context that you would not be comfortable publishing in the text of the story itself. *Facts that did not make it into the article should not appear in social media--particularly those facts removed during the vetting process. Continue Reading →

Legal Tips for the Nonprofit Journalism Organization

The practice of journalism is undergoing a turbulent transition. Although the Internet makes it far easier to deliver information to people, it also opens up new avenues for legal liability. Not surprisingly, journalists wishing to practice their craft online often have a lot of legal questions. Should I form a business or nonprofit organization before posting online? What happens if someone sues me for defamation? Continue Reading →

INN Collaborates with the Online Media Legal Network

To help Investigative News Network (INN) member organizations find pro bono and low-cost legal help, INN is pleased to announce a new and vital partnership with the Online Media Legal Network (OMLN). Based at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, OMLN is a legal assistance and referral service made up of law firms, law school clinics, in-house counsel, and individual lawyers throughout the United States willing to provide free and reduced-fee legal assistance to qualifying independent journalists and journalism ventures. The network’s 100+ law firms and law school clinics comprise nearly 7,000 lawyers with expertise in media law, intellectual property law, and business advising. "Investigative and public service journalism is under threat, not just from declining revenue streams but also from government and other powerful institutions that use the law to avoid public accountability," said David Ardia, Director of the Online Media Legal Network. He added, "The OMLN is dedicated to leveling the playing field and to helping independent journalists and journalism organizations find the legal assistance they need to thrive. Continue Reading →