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Online TV Watchdog Workshop: Legal workshop with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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January 22, 2021 All day


IRE’s TV Watchdog Workshops are going virtual in 2021, allowing us to reach more journalists and keep everyone safe during the pandemic. These half-day workshops are open to all television journalists and will focus on tips and techniques for journalists working in television news.

In this workshop, learn how to navigate legal issues in your newsroom from media lawyers at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Attorneys will lead sessions on navigating public records laws, vetting your stories for libel and privacy issues before publication, and knowing your legal rights while covering protests.

Expected speakers include:

  • Patti DiVincenzo, IRE/NICAR
  • Shannon Jankowski, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)
  • Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)
  • Sarah Matthews, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)

This program is made possible thanks to support from Knight Foundation.

IRE Membership Deal

The first 500 people to sign up for any of the workshops will get a free one-year IRE membership or renewal!

If you are already an IRE member, you'll receive a renewal after the workshop. If you are not a member, you'll receive a new membership after the event if you meet IRE membership requirements.

Each person can receive only one membership/renewal for the 2021 Virtual TV Watchdog Workshop series. Membership value is $70 for professionals and $25 for students.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be sent via email to There is a $10 processing fee for cancellations until the day before the event. Refunds will not be given for cancellations on the day of, or after the event.


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Event Schedule

11 - 11:15 am ET | Welcome and introductions

Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

11:15 am - 12:30 pm ET | Finessing your FOIA requests

Speakers: Adam Marshall of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)

You want it. They have it. How do you get it? In this session,we'll discuss the best ways to get to "yes." We'll also help you tackle common roadblocks, including excessive fee estimates, broken deadlines and other shenanigans.

12:30 - 1 pm ET| Informal networking/break

Take a break or grab a snack and spend time getting to know your fellow IRE members during this informal networking session.

1 - 2:30 pm ET | Vetting your own stories

Speakers: Sarah Matthews of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)

Vetting your own stories will help you lower your legal costs, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has a new guide to help you with that. We'll focus on the fair reporting privilege, libel and privacy, among other issues.

2:30 - 2:45 pm ET| Break

2:45 - 4 pm ET | Covering protests: Know your rights

Speakers: Shannon Jankowski of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)

Journalists have been assaulted, arrested, and had their reportering gear confiscated or damaged simply for doing their jobs during protests.This session will focus on the legal strategies you need to know when covering protests, how to minimize your risk of a run-in with police and how to deal with it if it does happen. We'll also break into groups to discuss incidents you or your colleagues have faced and brainstorm strategies on how it might have been avoided.


The workshop will be held online via Zoom, and attendees will receive login information several days before the workshop.

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109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
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