One Big Thing: Should journalists be afforded more protections when reporting on protests?
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Reporting on protests has become the most dangerous assignment for journalists in America. Historically, the U.S. has some of the strongest legal free speech protections in the world and has been an example for the rest of the world to follow. Despite these protections, since the beginning of the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, reporters around the country have faced physical assault, unwarranted arrests, and illegal seizure of their journalistic tools:
- On May 27, a CNN news crew was arrested on live television while reporting on the Minneapolis protests
- On June 2, the Australian government began an investigation on U.S. law enforcement following an incident of violence against an Australian news crew near the White House in Washington DC.
- Multiple first hand reports from journalists (Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Michael George) of police firing rubber bullets
Journalists must be afforded the highest standard of protection when reporting as they serve as the first line of information that the public receives. If journalists cannot do their job, the public cannot be informed.
Monitor press freedom from the Press Freedom Tracker and check out what other press freedom organizations are saying on the subject:
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