Pro-Palestinian student activists face off with New York Police Department officers as a person with a shirt bearing a "student press" label is seen at Columbia University during an April 30 police raid on the university's campus. NYPD officers, arrested approximately 100 people as removed protesters occupying Hamilton Hall. (Photo: AP/Seyma Bayram)

CPJ calls on authorities to allow journalists to safely cover US campus protests

Washington, D.C., May 1, 2024– With tensions over pro-Palestinian protests escalating on college campuses across the United States, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on university authorities and law enforcement agencies to allow reporters to freely cover the demonstrations.

“Journalists – including student journalists who have been thrust into a national spotlight to cover stories in their communities — must be allowed to cover campus protests without fearing for their safety,” said CPJ U.S., Canada and Caribbean Program Coordinator Katherine Jacobsen on Wednesday. “Any efforts by authorities to stop them doing their jobs have far-reaching repercussions on the public’s ability to be informed about current events.”

Since the Israel-Gaza war began on October 7, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker – a CPJ partner – has documented at least 13 arrests or detentions and at least 11 assaults of journalists covering protests related to the conflict. 

Those arrested include FOX 7 reporter Carlos Sanchez, who was shoved to the ground on April 24 while covering a protest at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently facing two misdemeanor charges.