Resources for journalists covering the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte

By Andria Krewson

Here’s a link roundup of resources available for journalists covering the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Many come from our successful July 28 seminar, “Ready, Set, Go,” on covering conventions. University of North Carolina student and journalist Melissa Abbey wrote a summary of that seminar, and Society of Professional Journalists National President John Ensslin, who has covered three national conventions, spoke at the seminar and shared his tips on his blog.

Note: The law allows police in North Carolina and Florida to search your digital devices if you are being arrested, according to Andy Sellers of the Digital Media Law Project. Sellers also notes that digital networks in crowds can become overloaded, so do not count on your phone to work. Consider using old-fashioned paper identification and reference materials as a backup.

For emergencies

If you run into trouble and can tweet, a couple of moves might come in handy.

  • Please feel free to send a tweet to the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists’ account at @charlottespj if you run into legal issues. Ensslin notes in his roundup that national SPJ has a legal defense fund.
  • Free Press uses the tag #journarrest for cases in which journalists are arrested.
  • From the National Press Photographers’ Association, General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher is tweeting from @nppalawyer.
  • From the North Carolina ACLU, Chris Brook, legal director, is available for your calls at his office (919-834-3466) or cell phone (919-830-4228).
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg police representatives have held several meetings with local media and community members. Deputy Police Chief Harold Medlock met with the Greater Charlotte Chapter of SPJ in June. Here are notes from that meeting.

The roundup

  • John Ensslin’s tips, with his own advice as well as tips from other experienced journalists.
  • The Digital Media Law Project’s guide to reporting at the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions, including a one-page, crammed-to-the-gills cheat sheet
  • Free Press, the International News Safety Institute and Harvard University’s Digital Media Law Project teamed up for a webinar on safety for journalists while covering conventions. Replay available here. One excellent advance tip from this webinar: treat the DNC as a long hike, bring snacks and water and plan ahead with a map to avoid being “kettled.”
  • Know your rights, from the ACLU, with a one-pager full of resources.
  • Covering the conventions and protests, from the National Press Photographers Association (updating live from the Republican National Convention)
  • No rebar, lots of sunscreen: Covering the Democratic National Convention, a concise roundup by UNC student Melissa Abbey of the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists’ July 28 seminar.
  • 7 Rules for Recording Police, by Steve Silverman at Gizmodo.
  • The National Lawyers’ Guild
  • Privacy and security for mobile phones and other devices using voice and data networks, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • The surveillance self-defense project from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg online form for filing a complaint about an officer.
  • Social media resources

    Many of these came from a Poynter chat led by Mallary Tenore on Aug. 24 with Ethan Klapper, Jeff Sonderman and Charlotte’s own Mary Curtis.


    1 Comment

    Filed under DNC2012, Events, Law, Photography, politics, Visual journalism, Visuals

    One response to “Resources for journalists covering the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte

    1. Pingback: Twitter Resources for #DNC2012 « historic south end

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