Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mobile apps provide valuable resources on state-specific laws journalists need to know

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has released a trio of apps that provide valuable help for covering cops, courts and schools, and information on recording laws for each state. The cops-and-courts app includes laws regarding the release of records such as arrest reports, search warrants and affidavits, and interviewing legal parties and jurors. The schools app includes state-specific laws and other guidelines for interviewing students and accessing school records.

The apps also provide tools "to collect audio, still and video images, and text for stories," said the release. Another feature is a legal guide, which covers issues such as access, records and other relevant laws. There is also a storybase, which can be used to take notes or compose a story, link or download records, record and store video and audio clips and photographs, keep track of locations and store information on a database. Another feature allows users to post stories to Twitter and Facebook directly from storybase.

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