USA / Americas

Hundreds of reporters have been attacked or arrested while covering protests against police brutality . For data, see the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a partnership between CPJ and Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Visit CPJ’s 2020 Election Safety Kit and #PressSafety2020 page for additional resources.

Journalists attacked in USA since 1992

  

Foreign reporters describe safety concerns covering US elections and protests

Covering elections as a foreign correspondent in the United States has traditionally meant press conferences, long days at political rallies, and road trips through rural America. This year, however, amid the spread of COVID-19, curtailed campaigns, civil unrest, visa issues, and an unpredictable political environment, the elections beat has been particularly challenging for foreign reporters….

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“I’ve lost count of the number of fires I’ve covered this year”: How journalists stay safe covering U.S. wildfires

Photojournalist Kent Porter has covered wildfires in the western United States for more than 30 years. But this year, he says, the fires are different. The season’s first fire usually burns about one or two acres, Porter told CPJ in a phone interview. This year, however, the first fire he covered was 140 acres. “Usually…

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Journalist April Ehrlich facing criminal charges over reporting on homelessness in Oregon

Washington, D.C., September 25, 2020 —The Medford Police Department in southwest Oregon should drop all charges against journalist April Ehrlich, and refrain from filing criminal charges against members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On the morning of September 22, Medford police arrested Ehrlich, a reporter for National Public Radio affiliate…

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In a street scene, a police officer reaches towards a woman carrying a camera

CPJ joins call for California attorney general to investigate technology used in Belarus censorship

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined free expression and digital rights groups on September 23 in calling on Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, to investigate technology sales by Sandvine Inc. after the company acknowledged that its products were being used to block news and other websites amid anti-government protests in Belarus. The call, co-signed by…

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Former VOA staffer Al Pessin on VOA’s role amid the Trump-appointee shakeup

At the end of August, journalists with the U.S. Congress-funded Voice of America (VOA) took the extraordinary step of ringing a public alarm bell about moves by the new CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees VOA and several other outlets. VOA broadcasts in 47 languages and employs both U.S. citizens…

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Journalist Josie Huang arrested, charged with obstructing police in Los Angeles

Washington D.C., September 16, 2020 — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department should immediately drop all charges against journalist Josie Huang, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On the evening of September 12, sheriff’s deputies tackled and arrested Huang, a reporter for a National Public Radio member station KPCC and local news website LAist,…

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Physical Safety: Covering wildfires

Wildfires are becoming more frequent across the world and increasing in both severity and extent, according to Science Brief, a website that reviews peer-reviewed scientific studies on various topics, including climate change. Media workers covering any wildfire should be aware of the dynamic nature of such a disaster, and how a rapidly evolving situation on…

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When police patrol protests in military gear, journalists face a hostile reporting environment

When St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer David Carson was covering protests against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, he said other reporters often asked him what it was like to get teargassed night after night. These days, he told CPJ, he rarely gets asked that question: “Now all of my journalist friends have been teargassed.” Tear gassings, rubber…

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Guide to Legal Rights in the U.S.

The following advice and recommendations are intended to give the reader a high-level understanding of the rights of a journalist when confronted by law enforcement officers while covering a protest or other political event. Given that these incidents often quickly escalate and that some – both protestors and police – do not always conform to legal…

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CPJ, NLA launch initiative to boost reporting on press freedom in the U.S.

U.S. Press Freedom Accountability Project to award grants for coverage of attacks on journalists during Black Lives Matter protests New York, September 3, 2020– In light of recent unprecedented attacks on journalists around the United States, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in collaboration with the News Leaders Association (NLA), today launched the U.S. Press…

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