ASNE to increase legal, educational resources for journalists through Charles Koch Foundation grant

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 9, 2017) - The American Society of News Editors, together with an $80,000 grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, is pleased to announce that it will be significantly expanding membership benefits. Support for the popular ASNE Legal Hotline, led by Kevin Goldberg, an experienced media attorney and leading Freedom of Information Act expert, will be increased. An educational series focused on First Amendment rights of the press will also debut later this year as part of the grant.
Since launching in 2015, the ASNE Legal Hotline has become a relied upon benefit of ASNE membership. It is a resource that helps journalists nationwide better navigate the ins and outs of their legal rights as press protected by the First Amendment. Via the hotline, Goldberg fields members' questions on an array of legal topics, such as FOIA and copyright infringement. All questions and answers are posted online for the benefit of the entire community. 
Now, with the support of the Charles Koch Foundation, ASNE is slated to increase the capacity of the hotline, enabling Goldberg to directly engage with even more industry professionals, especially those in regions where legal or educational resources have become scarcer as a result of the market dynamics in the publishing industry. 
"I'm very excited to be able to expand our outreach to editors and their staff around the country," said Kevin Goldberg, legal counsel for ASNE. "It's no secret that news organizations are facing an increasingly hostile legal climate and that many do not have the available resources needed to protect and promote their legal rights. My goal is to put ASNE members in a position where they can create systematic procedures to avoid legal problems, better differentiate between true threats and frivolous attempts to bully, and proactively assert their right to information. I'm especially grateful to the Charles Koch Institute for making this happen. It's an organization I've been lucky to work with recently, and I truly appreciate their dedication to free speech and open government."
"We're excited to partner with ASNE," said Charles Koch Foundation Director of Free Expression Sarah Ruger. "We share the belief a free press is critical to society's ability to openly disseminate ideas. ASNE is bolstering those rights with the resources needed to act on them. "The foundation supports many grantees committed to press freedom, including The Poynter Institute, the Newseum and Techdirt's free speech initiative.
ASNE will also host a new educational series of regional workshops and online webinars. The webinars will deliver proactive and practical advice on key aspects of media law, including First Amendment rights, laws protecting press freedom and freedom of information. The webinars will roll out on a quarterly basis starting later this year and will be available to both ASNE members and the general public. The regional workshops will target state press associations and will focus on open government.
For more information on the Legal Hotline and upcoming workshops and webinars, please visit For more information about the Charles Koch Foundation, please visit

About the American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.
Members can be editors, producers or directors in charge of journalistic organizations or departments; opinion journalists; deans or faculty at university journalism schools; leaders and faculty of media-related foundations and training organizations; and other individuals at the board's discretion. A committee of the board of directors reviews applications for membership.
ASNE's members are individuals, and its board is elected by members. Many of ASNE's initiatives are carried out by its committees. It also operates projects coordinated by staff with advice from committees and the board.
The organization was known as the American Society of Newspaper Editors until 2009.
About Kevin Goldberg
Kevin Goldberg is currently a practicing attorney at Fleatcher, Heald, and Hildreth specializing in First Amendment Law (most particularly freedom of information). He is deeply engaged in the freedom of information and First Amendment community, supporting a variety of press nonprofits, including the National Freedom of Information Coalition, ASNE and National Press Foundation. He has also been an instructor on FOI for the Charles Koch Institute's journalism fellows program.
About Charles Koch Foundation
Since its founding in 1980, the Charles Koch Foundation has supported students and scholars exploring how free societies improve well-being. The foundation offers philanthropic support to more than 300 public and private universities, as well as nonprofit organizations helping people improve their lives and communities.