Legal Resources for Journalists

Around the world, journalists and independent media outlets are facing an alarming increase in legal threats. From claims of criminal defamation and strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), to trumped-up charges intended to bankrupt newsrooms into silence, the legal landscape for journalists is both complicated and rapidly evolving.

CPJ has assembled a series of resources intended to help journalists and newsrooms better prepare for or mitigate threats of legal harassment and action.

Regional and topical legal resources for journalists

These legal resources were prepared in partnership with TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program

Understanding the laws relating to ‘fake news’ in Russia

This guide is intended to provide user-friendly, practical guidance for both journalists and newsrooms seeking to understand Russia’s “fake news” laws and how they’ve been applied thus far to both local and international press. 

Available in: Українська Русский

Ukraine: Guide to movement of personal protective equipment

A practical guide to help journalists quickly understand what PPE can be moved from Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland into Ukraine.

Guide to Legal Rights in the U.S.

A practical guide to the rights of a journalist when confronted by law enforcement officers while covering a protest or other political event. 

Available in: Español

Know your rights guide for journalists in Canada

This guide covers legal rights journalists have, and risks they may face, when covering protests in Canada.

Available in: Français

CPJ and TrustLaw: Know your rights guide for journalists in India

This guide covers the legal rights journalists have in India and a working understanding of the remedies and protection measures that are available under Indian law.

Available in: हिन्दी

Resources for journalists in need of legal support

  • Defamation resources: These guides provide journalists with a practical understanding of defamation laws and the steps they can take to mitigate defamation liability in Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Peru.
  • Journalists in Distress Network (JiD): A network of media freedom organizations that provide assistance to journalists and media workers at risk.

If you would like to speak with someone about legal threats you are facing or are concerned about, please email [email protected].