The Protecting Journalists Pro Bono Program ("ProJourn") is a joint pro bono collaboration between Microsoft, Davis Wright Tremaine, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Knight Foundation.
ProJourn is an innovative approach to providing journalists—small news organizations, nonprofit newsrooms, documentary filmmakers and freelancers—no-cost legal help with pre-publication review and public records access.
The initiative was piloted in Washington and California in 2020 and 2021 by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and Microsoft, and in partnership with the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of Press and the Knight Foundation. It mobilizes teams of seasoned media attorneys and corporate in-house counsel to create legal support for local journalists and meet the growing needs of newsrooms.
Under the leadership of full-time ProJourn employees Pro Bono Director Flavie Fuentes and Pro Bono Manager Christina Piaia, ProJourn expanded in 2022 to Georgia, North Carolina, New York, and Texas. The need for this expansion was based on a comprehensive landscape study that demonstrated the critical need for increased legal support for local journalism nationally.
We review submissions (e.g., articles, podcasts, opinion pieces) identified by the writer as potentially high risk, either because of the subject matter or the parties named, and provide legal guidance for the journalist to consider.
Access to Public Records
We seek to support journalists in creating a clearly written request for identifiable documents within a government agency's possession, custody, or control, ensure that it's done in a manner that is compliant with existing laws, and provide legal support to the extent possible in pursuing the request thereafter.
Requests for Assistance
To request pro bono legal assistance with pre-publication review or public records access, please fill out this form. Your responses will help us assess program eligibility.
All applicants must meet our eligibility criteria and the matter must fall within the current scope of our program. ProJourn's mission is to support a free and robust press and we look forward to reviewing your inquiry.
ProJourn is housed within the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of Press and overseen by Pro Bono Director Flavie Fuentes and Pro Bono Manager Christina Piaia. Please email email@example.com with questions or comments. Please note that we cannot accept, and do not acquiesce to, requests for legal representation through this email.