Lucy Westcott/James W. Foley Emergencies Research Associate

Lucy Westcott joined CPJ as a James W. Foley Emergencies Research Associate in 2018 and was appointed Emergencies Director in October 2021. Prior to joining CPJ, Westcott was a staff writer for Newsweek, where she covered gender and immigration. She has reported for outlets including The Intercept, Bustle, The Atlantic, and Women Under Siege, and was a United Nations correspondent for the Inter Press Service.

Doha Diary: CPJ’s Lucy Westcott on her ‘honor of a lifetime’ — helping fleeing Afghan journalists

In September 2021, CPJ’s Lucy Westcott traveled to Doha, Qatar, to meet with Afghan journalists CPJ helped to evacuate from Kabul. Some snapshots from her trip.

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“The camera attracts violence”: Israeli right-wing groups attack local journalists

Israel’s May 15 bombing of The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera offices in Gaza made international headlines, as did the death of a Palestinian journalist in an air strike that may have been a deliberate attack on his home.  There were many other press freedom violations during the recent flare-up, which included unusual levels of street violence between Arabs and Jews in Israeli…

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‘Trauma makes its way back to you’: Four US journalists on covering mass shootings

In the photograph published in The Washington Post, a woman kneels on the ground, her hands in her lap, her body bathed in red neon light. She is mourning outside of the Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta, Georgia, one scene of a mass shooting in March 2021 that killed eight people.  Behind every photograph and news report of a…

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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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Journalist Marcus Henderson covered the COVID-19 outbreak inside his own prison

When news of the global COVID-19 pandemic reached San Quentin prison, a state-run men’s prison in California, earlier this year, Marcus Henderson knew it was only a matter of time before the virus spread through the facility. It did, killing 28 inmates and at least one staff member and infecting Henderson and 2,200 other inmates…

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Journalist safety in 2020

In this unforgettably tumultuous year, journalists across the world covered the ongoing pandemic, dangerous protests, natural disasters, active conflicts, elections, and other life-changing events. The reporters, anchors, photographers, camera operators, producers, and technicians who brought 2020’s biggest stories to the public often risked their own physical safety and psychological well-being and found themselves the subjects…

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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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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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‘We’re scared shitless out here’: Four reporters on covering the federal response to Portland protests

“This was civic combat, but without live fire.” That’s how freelance photographer John Rudoff described the situation in Portland, Oregon, the Pacific Northwest city where demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter and against police brutality are now in their 13th week.  Portland’s protests received global attention when they took a violent turn in July as…

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Beirut’s journalists report on the explosion that tore through their lives and city

Six minutes after the explosion at the Port of Beirut on the evening of August 4, 2020, Natalia Sancha, a correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Pais, was on her motorcycle, heading to the scene of the blast. Like so many journalists in the city, she was documenting the catastrophe as she was living it.   The…

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