Below is a joint statement issued this week by the News Media Alliance, America’s Newspapers and the National Newspaper Association.
The last several days, journalists have been risking their lives to report on the ground at the scenes of protests across the country in response to the death of George Floyd. These journalists are serving a critical role in providing information the public needs to know in order to stay informed about what is happening in their communities, as well as to keep them and their families safe.
In some cities, there have been reports of journalists being attacked and harassed by law enforcement while trying to do their jobs. It is essential that law enforcement and government officials not only allow journalists to report on the historic events currently unfolding, but to provide journalists with the necessary protection in order to remain safe to do their jobs, as members of the press – the rights of which are guaranteed under the First Amendment.
Local journalists are not only covering the protests as they are unfolding, but they are telling the stories behind these events, and they will be there in the months ahead to report on the aftermath and local repercussions.
We are extremely grateful for journalists’ commitment and sacrifices to bring the truth to the American public. We stand behind them and support their right to a free press as granted under the First Amendment. We call on local law enforcement and government officials to recognize the importance of their role and ensure their safety during these dangerous and unpredictable events.