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Pro bono and reduced-fee legal help for bloggers/journalists

Have legal matters like those entangling bloggers like Spiritual Samurai(blog deleted) and FBC Jax Watchdog left you wary of either nonprofit public service blogging or information service entrepreneurialism?
For those serious about public-interest information gathering and publication, there is a new source of help.
Mac Slocum at Nieman Journalism Lab writes today:

The Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center doesn’t want those entrepreneurial instincts to wither on the vine. It’s just launched an ambitious collection of free legal resources called the Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), the centerpiece of which is a matchmaking service that connects online publishers with attorneys who can address their specific needs. It’s a full-service effort, covering everything from basic business structure to contracts to representation in court.

The doors are open to one and all who meet the network’s requirements. In general they consider:

  • Viability. We believe that limited resources can have the greatest impact when focused on ventures that are economically viable and/or sustainable over time.
  • Adherence to journalistic standards. We seek to support ventures that practice the journalistic standards of truth, fairness, and transparency.
  • Innovation. We’re looking for ventures that are at the forefront of efforts to harness the Internet to revolutionize journalism and fill unmet market needs.
  • Independence. The network will primarily support media ventures that are independent of the traditional media or corporate ownership.
  • Original reporting. Preference will be given to ventures that create their own original reporting, or that use traditional news sources in new and innovative ways.
  • Public interest. Priority will be given to ventures that serve the public interest, including those that fill important information needs or foster a sense of community.

Pro bono and reduced-fee assistance are available and the project anticipates dealing with a wide range of publication and newsgathering needs.

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November 19, 2009 - Posted by | Law | , ,

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