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 on a state and local level 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 in 1946, RTDNA has engaged in advocacy to create an environment where journalists can safely and responsibly do their jobs. We do this by serving as a unified voice for the profession, educating and informing policymakers and influencers, and supporting policy and legal efforts that will 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.
POLICY 1: OPEN GOVERNMENT
Make public proceedings, documents and data broadly accessible to journalists to inform the public and help them make decisions.
POLICY 2: OPEN RECORDS
Public records are already the domain of the public, and government agencies should make them easily accessible to the public.
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.
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.
POLICY 5: GOVERNMENT/JOURNALIST CLIMATE
RTDNA advocates for a healthy relationship between government and those journalists who are following professional standards.
Learn more about how RTDNA pushes for press freedom:
- 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