LION members will have access to ASNE Legal Hotline

By LION Board of Directors | Jun. 21, 2018

The American Society of News Editors is partnering with the Local Independent Online News Publishers to expand its recently improved Legal Hotline service.

Under this partnership, members of LION will gain free access to the new ASNE Legal Hotline Facebook group, through which they can run their legal questions by ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin Goldberg and interact with other news leaders about legal issues in a timely manner.

ASNE and LION encourage all members to join the Facebook group and start engaging in conversations with Goldberg and their colleagues to help one another better understand legal issues on topics, such as First Amendment rights, FOIA and copyright infringement, and more prepared to protect their newsrooms and communities.

"We're delighted to bring the ASNE Legal Hotline to help journalists and newsrooms from the Local Independent Online News Publishers with their issues and concerns regarding free access to public records and defense of the First Amendment, which is a cornerstone of a free press," said ASNE President Alfredo Carbajal,  managing editor of Al Día at The Dallas Morning News.

"This is a lifeline for small local independent news publishers who are on the front lines of accountability reporting that is crucial to our democracy," said LION Executive Director Matt DeRienzo. "Access to legal advice on issues ranging from Freedom of Information Act requests to increasing press freedom issues is a major area of concern for our members. It's also exciting to see journalism organizations collaborating with each other to help strengthen local news ecosystems."

The Legal Hotline was launched in 2016 with a generous grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to help guide ASNE members in their efforts to serve the public and was later updated with additional support from the Charles Koch Foundation to increase the capacity of the service. The Facebook group, created earlier this month, serves as a platform for wider conversations and easier access.

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About the American Society of News Editors

The  American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.

About Local Independent Online News Publishers

LION is a national nonprofit organization that supports the publishers of local independent online news organizations. It has more than 200 members in 45 states who publish both for-profit and nonprofit, niche and general local news sites. LION offers them peer support, training, mentorship and best practices on local news entrepreneurship.