Revised handbook serves as journalist guide to the law and courts

In today’s fast-paced world, reporters are responsible for covering crimes, changing laws, Supreme Court hand downs and other legal decisions faster than ever. To assist journalists and help them even better cover the court system and law-related matters, The Missouri Press-Bar Commission has updated its popular resource – The News Reporter’s Handbook on Law and the Courts.

The most recent edition of the handbook is now available free for download and serves as a guide to reporting on criminal, civil and juvenile cases, as well as libel, the Sunshine Law, locating sources of information and more.

Access a digital copy of the guide and learn about other resources for reporters here:

Those using the handbook are invited to offer suggestions for improvements by contacting The Missouri Press-Bar Commission, c/o The Missouri Bar, P.O. Box 119, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or via email at

Since 1972, the Press-Bar Commission has worked to foster better communications between the media and the bench and bar. The commission’s mission is: 

  • to encourage cooperation between the press, the bar and the bench to the end of further strengthening service to the First Amendment and the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States throughout Missouri; 
  • to provide leadership and guidance aimed at achieving a better informed citizenry that will be serviced by a still higher order of justice; 
  • to take whatever steps are necessary throughout an educational program for the press, the bar, the bench and the people of Missouri to promote a better informed citizenry and a strong First and Sixth Amendment.


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