Katherine Jacobsen/CPJ U.S. Research Associate

Katherine Jacobsen is CPJ's U.S. research associate. Before joining CPJ as a news editor in 2017, Jacobsen worked for The Associated Press in Moscow and as a freelancer in Ukraine, where her writing appeared in outlets including Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report, Foreign Policy, and Al-Jazeera.

A positive step for Julian Assange but a blow to press freedom

A London court’s decision this week not to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States imperils press freedom even as it benefits Assange.   In her January 4 decision, Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled that Assange would be at risk of suicide should he be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution, including on espionage…

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‘Three people threatened to shoot me.’ Journalists describe covering mob violence at the US Capitol

Yesterday’s pro-Trump protests in Washington, D.C. — during which a mob broke into the Capitol building and forced journalists, lawmakers, and staff to shelter-in-place for hours — were full of anti-press sentiment. The words “Murder the Media” were etched on a door inside the building, according to The New York Times, and individuals in the crowd repeatedly threatened…

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In 2020, U.S. journalists faced unprecedented attacks

As the Committee to Protect Journalists publishes its annual tally of journalists imprisoned around the world, not a single U.S. reporter is behind bars for their work. But that statistic belies the country’s marred press freedom landscape following the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in which journalists were handcuffed, shoved, and shot at with less-lethal…

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Conspiracy theories grow in the U.S., creating threats to journalist safety

On the eve of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, conspiracy theories have abounded online amid the global pandemic and a polarized political climate. Journalists covering nearly every beat grapple with misinformation, which is false but may be spread by mistake, as well as disinformation, when falsehoods are shared intentionally.   QAnon has emerged as one…

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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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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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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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Maynard Institute’s Martin G. Reynolds on challenges facing Black journalists and how US media needs to change

Martin G. Reynolds, a veteran journalist and editor, is co-executive director at the Emeryville, California-based Maynard Institute, which was established to help diversify newsrooms through training programs. A year after the Maynard Institute’s founding in 1977 — originally as the Institute for Journalism Education — people of color made up 4% of journalists nationwide, according…

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Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers leave the Nova Scotia RCMP Headquarters in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on April 20. Journalists in the province have struggled to cover a mass shooting due to COVID-19 containment measures. (Reuters/John Morris)

Halifax Examiner’s Tim Bousquet on covering a mass shooting in a pandemic

When news broke that a gunman had killed at least 22 people in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19, the Halifax Examiner, a small independent local news website, began piecing together how the deadliest mass shooting in Canada’s history had occurred.

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A passenger walks through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 15, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. CPJ recently spoke with journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle. (John Moore/Getty Images via AFP)

Seattle journalists describe covering COVID-19 as ‘relearning how to do their jobs’

Washington state was the first COVID-19 hotspot in the United States. Since its first case was reported on January 21, more than 10,000 people have been infected with the virus, and at least 511 have died.

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