National Press Club

Journalist Hotline for Legal Trouble at Republican Convention

August 28, 2008

Journalists covering the Republican convention next week may want to tuck this phone number in their Blackberries: 651-238-1884. It's a 24-hour hotline for cost-free legal assistance for journalists arrested or detained during coverages of demonstrations or other disturbances.

The hotline is sponsored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. During the St. Paul convention, attorneys Paul Hannah of Kelly & Berens and Bill Tilton and George Dunn of Tilton & Dunn will handle the hotline calls. A similar hotline during the Democratic National Convention in Denver was handled by attorneys with the law firm of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, L.L.P.

The hotline lawyers will endeavor to work with police and public officials to help resolve problems for journalists arrested or detained.

The general Reporters Committee hotline will be available as a backup at (800) 336-4243.

The Reporters Committee, a nonprofit association of reporters and editors established in 1970, provides cost-free legal advice and research assistance to journalists and their lawyers. The Reporters Committee has established such hotlines at every Democratic and Republican national convention since 1972.