CPJ highlights dangers for photojournalists covering protests at Photoville NYC

New York, September 24, 2020 – Photojournalists working in the United States this year face an unprecedented combination of risks, including civil unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate disasters. In honor of their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists is participating in the annual Photoville Festival in New York City as a partner in the festival’s “Journalists Under Fire” exhibit, a visual display of the threats faced by journalists covering protests in the United States.

CPJ Emergencies with also lead a series of one-on-one free safety clinics for freelance photographers, in conjunction with the ACOS Alliance and the Frontline Freelance Register.

“Photojournalists don’t have the option to work from home; they have to be right on the frontlines to carry out their work, which inherently puts them at greater risk. We’re glad to take part in Photoville for the fifth year in a row, to share important work from photographers covering protests in the U.S., and to provide support in mitigating the dangers they face,” said CPJ Emergencies Director Maria Salazar Ferro.

Created in collaboration with United Photo Industries and St. Ann’s Warehouse, “Journalists Under Fire” is part of CPJ’s #SafetyInFocus campaign, which highlights the needs and experiences of photographers and provides tailored safety resources. 

Against this year’s backdrop of a dramatic uptick in attacks on journalists in the United States, “Journalists Under Fire” will showcase American photographers covering civil unrest. As of September 24, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a partnership between CPJ and Freedom of the Press Foundation, has received over 800 reports of journalists assaulted, arrested, or otherwise prevented from covering protests.

In a 2018 CPJ survey of photojournalists, almost half of respondents said they had been injured while working. Since 1992, at least 171 photographers have been killed around the world while carrying out their work, and at the time of CPJ’s most recent global prison census, at least 21 photojournalists were jailed.

Journalists looking for advice can explore CPJ’s safety resources, including an updated risk assessment template, as well as advice on covering COVID-19 and elections.

This year’s Photoville Festival features a mix of remote and interactive events, as well as outdoor exhibits in New York City. The event began on September 17 and will run until November 29. Learn more about Photoville NYC here.