Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C., as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election certification. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP)

CPJ urges respect for United States press freedom, journalist safety

New York, January 6, 2020—In response to events today in Washington D.C., the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

“We are gravely concerned by today’s attack on American institutions, including the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where journalists as well as lawmakers are at risk,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Journalists and news crews covering these events, which are of paramount public interest, must be able to do so freely and safely, with the support and protection of law enforcement. Intimidation and vandalism have already been carried out by violent protesters and there is a real possibility of escalating attacks on the media. We urge journalists and news organizations to take every precaution.”

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m., which does not apply to essential workers including journalists with outlet-issued credentials, according to a statement on her Twitter account. 

CPJ is monitoring ongoing protests in Washington D.C. and around the country. Journalists can:

·             Consult CPJ’s safety notes for advice on covering civil unrest

·             Contact [email protected] with questions or reports of violations

·             Utilize the legal hotline of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP): 1-800-336-4243