About Our Advocacy Work

Advocacy Framework

RTDNA believes the role of journalists is to seek and report the truth on behalf of the public, and that a healthy democracy depends on a healthy journalism environment. It is our role as an association to advocate for policies that empower journalists to serve the public. We do this in partnership with our members, state and local journalism associations and other First Amendment groups. 

Since our founding, RTDNA has engaged in advocacy to create an environment where journalists can safely and responsibly do their jobs. We serve as a unified voice for the profession, educating and informing policymakers and influencers, and supporting policy and legal efforts to ensure responsible journalists are able to seek and report the truth on behalf of the public.


In 2020, RTDNA introducted its Five-Point Policy Framework, designed to strengthen the role journalism plays in a healthy democracy. The following framework helps RTDNA to determine where action is needed to support journalists and journalism in cities and states across the U.S.
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POLICY 1: Open Government

Make public proceedings, documents and data broadly accessible to journalists to inform the public and help them make decisions.

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POLICY 2: Open Records

Public records are already the domain of the public, and government agencies should make them easily accessible to the public.

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POLICY 3: Access to Public Officials

Public officials should not restrict journalists, limit access to briefings or restrict public employees from speaking with the media.

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POLICY 4: Credible Public Officials

Public officials cause mistrust and fuel a disengaged public when they conceal information or obstruct the public’s right and need to know.

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POLICY 5: Government/Journalist Climate

RTDNA advocates for a healthy relationship between government and those journalists who are following professional standards.

Download RTDNA's Five-Point Policy Framework

Report an Issue

Learn More

Check out the latest on our policy framework from President & CEO Dan Shelley.

Take Action

  • Alert us to issues in your state
  • Identify opportunities for presentations
  • Introduce us to influencers in state and local government
  • Join us in making public statements


The Journalist Protection Act (Draft)

Social Media Toolkit & Sample Letters

RTDNA's Five-Point Policy Framework

US Press Freedom Tracker (Committee to Protect Journalists)