• Home

U.S. Election Safety Summer: Legal Rights & Resources: Covering The 2024 Election

As journalists and news organizations prepare to cover elections at all levels in 2024, understanding reporters’ legal rights and the free legal resources available is essential. This session will discuss journalists’ newsgathering rights when covering elections; issues to consider when reporting at conventions, polling places, or demonstrations; and the range of free resources available through the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and its local partners, including online guides and a Legal Hotline, to help reporters who have legal questions or encounter issues. Attendees will hear from an experienced media law attorney at the Reporters Committee — which has provided pro bono legal support for journalists in every election cycle for the last five decades — and will come away with practical tips and resources that can be shared with their newsrooms.



Lucy Westcott is director of CPJ’s Emergencies Department. She oversees CPJ’s assistance and safety work worldwide. Prior to joining CPJ, Westcott was a staff writer for Newsweek, where she covered gender and immigration. She has reported for outlets including The Intercept, Bustle, The Atlantic, and Women Under Siege, and was a United Nations correspondent for the Inter Press Service.

Jennifer Nelson is a senior staff attorney with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where she leads its pre-publication and pre-broadcast review practice, oversees the publication of and updates to the Reporters Committee’s legal guides, and supervises its hotline for journalists. Nelson also regularly represents news organizations and journalists in public records, court access, and legal defense matters before federal and state courts.