Access Denied: Your Rights When Government Shuts Media Out

Course Overview

Access Denied: Your Rights When Government Shuts Media Out
This $29.95 webinar is free thanks to the generous support of Pepper Hamilton LLP
Originally Broadcast On:
January 27, 2017
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
January 27, 2017 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

A government threat to exclude a reporter or a news organization from press briefings or other information sources is now a common occurrence. This webinar is designed to discuss media’s First Amendment rights to be treated without discrimination based on the content of its reporting.

The information and materials provided by the panelists in this webinar do not constitute legal advice, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This webinar is solely for educational purposes. The panel is composed of in-house and private attorneys who regularly represent news and other media organizations.

What Will I Learn:
  • The law relating to access to officials, press conferences and special briefings
  • How to pick your battles, i.e. when does the media win the fight
  • Why the Freedom of Information Act is your best friend in these disputes
  • A word of caution on preparing for leak investigations
Who Should Take this Course:

Reporters, producers, editors and anyone who covers or will be covering government in the United States

Course Instructors:

David Bralow

David S. Bralow is of counsel in the Media, Communications and Entertainment Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the New York office.

From First Amendment defense to engaging in complicated corporate transactions, Mr. Bralow has spent more than twenty years providing legal advice to media companies. His practice includes libel and privacy defense, access to government information under FOIA and state laws; content protection, including copyright and trademark advice, new media transactions, and regulatory advice, including telemarketing and consumer regulations.

Chuck Tobin

Chuck Tobin is a Washington, D.C. partner with the National Media Practice Team of Holland & Knight LLP. Chuck represents newspapers, television stations and web operators in libel, privacy, subpoena, FOIA and copyright lawsuits around the country, and he counsels newsrooms on prepublication review.

Andrew Celli

Andrew G. Celli, Jr. is a co-founding partner of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, an eighteen-lawyer law firm located in New York City. Mr. Celli maintains a diverse practice representing institutions and individuals in commercial, constitutional, and civil rights cases in state and federal courts around the country. Mr. Celli was a principal author of The New York City Police Department’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Practices: A Report to the People of the State of New York (New York State Attorney General’s Office 1999).

Dale M. Cohen

Dale Cohen is an experienced media lawyer, executive and educator currently serving as Special Counsel for FRONTLINE, WGBH's news documentary series. Dale has long and happily grappled with media law and related issues as in-house counsel, as a litigator and as a professor. In addition to his work at FRONTLINE, Dale is currently a lecturer in law at the UCLA School of Law. Prior to his current gig, Dale served as Vice-President-Administration for Radio Free Europe in Prague. Dale has also worked in legal and executive positions at Cox Enterprises, Tribune Company and NPR.


Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a multi-practice law firm with more than 450 lawyers nationally. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world.

The firm has grown from a two-person law office formed in 1890 in Philadelphia to a large, sophisticated law firm with a national and international practice.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

Bandwidth - 1.5 Mbits/sec up and down. We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

Some networks, especially those that use a proxy server, may encounter difficulty connecting to our Webinar software. If this is your first Poynter NewsU Webinar, please test your connection.

This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at

You can watch our Live Webinars on your iPad with a free Adobe Connect app. To watch Webinar replays, your iPad must be able to view Flash media players. The Live Webinar experience on your iPad is very similar to watching it from your computer. You can watch the video, follow the presentation, respond to polling questions, ask the presenter questions and participate in any discussion forums.

Download the free Adobe Connect app from iTunes here. To access the live event, click on the "Join Live Event Now" button on the Webinar landing page. The virtual room will automatically load. Viewing recorded Webinars on iOS devices is not currently supported.