National Press Club

Know Your Reporting Rights: Learn when to not back down, Oct. 20

October 17, 2017 | By Julie Schoo |

Join the National Press Club Journalism Institute during Free Speech Week on Friday, Oct. 20, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., for an important discussion on the First Amendment and reporters’ rights that will be streamed on Facebook Live at

This event in the Club's Murrow Room is free to attend but reservations are required. Tickets can be reserved online.

The Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Reel Media Group are co-sponsoring the event, at which student and professional journalists will have the opportunity to learn from media law experts and experienced reporters who have encountered legal or physical threats while reporting.

RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force, launched this year, has been tracking increasing vitriol against reporters working in public, including verbal and physical harassment and even arrest.

“Journalists have a constitutionally guaranteed duty to seek and report the truth, and actions that prevent reporters from doing so are often unjustified,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Executive Director.

The panel will include veteran investigative reporter Seth McFarlane of NBC Washington and former journalist Adrianna C. Rodriguez of the Washington law firm Ballard Spahr, among others. It will be moderated by Reel Media Group co-founders Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel and Bram Weinstein.

"We want to start educating people into how far they can push to get great stories,” said Siegel. “It’s really important given the political climate right now."

“We are delighted to be co-sponsoring this event,” AEJMC President Paul Voakes said. “It has never been more important than now to raise our students’ awareness of their First Amendment rights, both as journalists and as citizens. We’re fighting for the future of freedom of expression.”

"Good journalism means being polite and professional but persistent in the public interest. We're proud to host an event that supports young journalists do the work that supports democracy," said National Press Club Journalism Institute President Barbara Cochran.

Media law and journalism classes, as well as professional journalists, are encouraged to tune in and submit questions via Facebook Live at The video will also be archived online for viewing later.