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OMLN Partners with Online News Association To Provide Legal Assistance to Independent Journalists

Cambridge, MA – The Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), an initiative of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, announced today that it is partnering with the Online News Association (ONA), the premier association for professional digital journalists. The partnership will provide ONA members access to the OMLN’s growing network of media, intellectual property, and business lawyers across the United States.

OMLN, which launched in November 2009, is a referral network for lawyers and law school clinics that wish to offer legal assistance to online journalists and other digital media creators. Lawyers participating in OMLN provide qualifying clients with pro bono and reduced fee legal assistance on a broad range of legal issues, including business formation and governance, copyright licensing and fair use, freelancer agreements, access to government information, pre-publication review of content, and representation in litigation. The network is administered through OMLN’s website at http://www.omln.org/.

Founded in 1999, ONA has more than 1,600 professional members whose principal livelihood involves gathering or producing news for digital presentation. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, photographers, technologists and others who produce news for the Internet or other digital delivery systems. Since 2000, ONA has administered the Online Journalism Awards, which recognize major media, international and independent sites and individuals producing innovative work in multimedia storytelling.

“Journalists starting up their own sites now need to focus on issues that help them create and sustain their businesses,” said ONA Executive Director Jane McDonnell. “This partnership helps address one of the most critical—providing a legal safety net for small news operations.” “We are excited to be working with ONA and its members, who are some of the most creative and innovative thinkers in online and digital media,” added David Ardia, director and co-founder of the OMLN.

About the Online News Association
The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers and others who produce news for the Internet or other digital delivery systems, as well as academic members and others interested in the development of online journalism. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association annual conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards. For more information, visit http://journalists.org/.

About the Online Media Legal Network
The Online Media Legal Network is an initiative of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The Citizen Media Law Project, which began operations in May 2007, provides assistance, training, research, and other resources for individuals and organizations involved in online and citizen media. For more information, visit http://www.citmedialaw.org.

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at http://cyber.harvard.edu.

Contact
Seth Young
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
617-384-9135
syoung@cyber.harvard.edu

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