CMLP Partners with YouTube to Help Launch Reporters' Center

As part of today's launch of YouTube's Reporters' Center, which features how-to videos on news reporting, the Citizen Media Law Project created a short video addressing some of the newsgathering and privacy issues people are likely to face as they head out with camera in hand to cover the news.  The two-part series of newsgathering videos (the first video is embedded below, the second video should be up later this week) describe the legal and practical issues you may encounter as you gather documents, take photographs or video, and interview others. 

The YouTube initiative aims to educate budding videographers on a wide array of issues associated with news reporting, such as how to fact check stories, avoid breaking the law while reporting, and adhere to journalistic principles.  According to YouTube's press release:

In partnership with several top news and media organizations, YouTube announced today the launch of the YouTube Reporters' Center (, a dedicated channel that features how-to videos on news reporting created by some of the industry's most respected journalists and media experts. A one-stop-shop for journalism training online, the YouTube Reporters' Center covers a wide range of topics, from preparing for interviews, to fact-checking, to journalistic ethics. . . .

"For the first time on YouTube, veteran journalists are making themselves openly available to aspiring reporters around the world who want to report on the news and events happening around them," said Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube. "As current events demonstrate on a daily basis, citizen-reporting on YouTube is a critical part of today's media landscape -- and the YouTube Reporters' Center will help foster an even more productive relationship between professionals and these aspiring reporters."

Visitors to the center can browse through over two dozen how-to videos made by the experts for the Reporters' Center. Citizens with reporting experiences are invited to share the lessons they've learned by adding their own how-to videos for inclusion on the site.

A number of organizations are participating in the project, including the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, CBS Evening News, Associated Press, Politifact, The Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.  

With the help of CMLP/Berkman interns Lee Baker, Courtney French, Andrew Moshirnia, and Andrew Sellars and Berkman Digital Media Producer extraordinaire Dan Jones, we created two short videos (part 2 is coming later this week) addressing the legal issues that impact your ability to document news events through video and still photography, including attending governmental meetings, reporting at crime scenes, filming political rallies or protests, and interviewing others.

For those who want more specific information, we've got a lot of resources available in our legal guide, including sections that address Entering the Property of Others, Gathering Private Information, Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings and Hearings, Acquiring Documents and Other Property, Documenting Public Proceedings and Events, and Protecting Sources and Source Material. All of these topics can be accessed via the Newsgathering and Privacy page in our legal guide.

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