Safely covering U.S. election events

Journalists covering the upcoming U.S. election should complete a risk assessment to consider the dangers they may face while on assignment and mitigate those risks.

Additional resources and guides for mitigating safety concerns

CPJ’s safety experts conduct group safety workshops for newsrooms and one-on-one safety clinics for individual journalists, including freelancers. If you are a journalist or editor and would like to speak with someone about your safety concerns, please email us at [email protected]

To access safety information, you can text CPJ’s automated chatbot on WhatsApp at +1 206 590 6191.

Submit a press freedom incident in the United States to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker by completing a form here.

The following checklists can help editors prepare and support journalists and other media workers covering election hotspots or risky assignments.

Physical safety checklist
  • Is your team mentally prepared to be confronted by aggressive individuals?
  • On higher-risk stories, can you assign two journalists, so no one works alone?

View the complete checklist.

Online abuse checklist
  • Does the journalist have a history of being attacked online?
  • Does the story involve contacting people who are known to harass others online?
  • Is your journalist aware of the risks of online abuse related to the story they are covering?

The 2024 United States presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 5, amid an increasingly polarized political climate. Coupled with a high level of distrust in the media, journalists are likely to face significant security challenges both in the lead-up to the election and on election day. The guide below is designed to help newsrooms and journalists think about and manage physical and digital risk when it comes to covering the U.S. election.

Read online

Psychological safety

Election events may result in violence against journalists and civilians. Journalists covering violence in their communities can prepare before, during, and after an assignment in order to care for their mental health and respect those impacted by violence.

The International Women’s Media Foundation has created a mental health guide for journalists facing online violence that can help journalists understand the effects of online abuse and take steps to protect their mental health.

Additional resources

U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: Tracking how the media is treated on the road to election 2024

International Women’s Media Foundation: Strategies for safely covering civil unrest

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: Election legal guide