You’re out reporting on a story and you encounter a situation in which you’re unsure about whether you can record due to privacy laws. Or you wonder if you can record police arresting someone since you’ve heard some of the recent incidents where police stopped reporters or threatened them with arrest.
Maybe you don’t remember much from your law class. Don’t tell me if I was your professor! Perhaps you can’t get a hold of a manager at the station. A legal guide can be at your fingertips for free. Just download the Recording Rights app from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
This recording guide has sections on trespass, consent, hidden cameras, police arrests and more. It’s simple to thumb through. It has general principles and you should know your state’s law, but this is a good primer.
Take a few moments to review it to refresh what you know and then you have it on your phone for future reference. I know it’s summer, but let’s call this summer school.
RFFP also has other apps available on covering schools, cops and courts and a general “first aid” app. More on those later.