Law enforcement and intelligence authorities are issuing cautions for public safety during the week ahead as the nation may experience civil unrest, noting that journalists should take extra care.
Among steps to take:
- Do not meet in person with sources you do not know.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Some sources say Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) may be used by rioters.
- Employ social distancing tactics, as always.
- Do not work alone if covering protests.
- Obey orders from law enforcement. If legal assistance is needed, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has a hotline for journalists at 1-800-336-4243, or www.rcfp.org.
- Be aware of potential use of live ammunition by protesters or police.
- Stand back from crowds, where vehicle ramming could be a threat.
- For journalists receiving verbal abuse, Radio-Television News Directors Association has an excellent resource page for maintaining good mental health. https://www.rtdna.org/article/webinar_newsroom_mental_health_strategies
- Other tips are available from the Committee to Protect Journalists. https://cpj.org/2021/01/cpj-safety-advisory-covering-the-build-up-to-the-u-s-presidential-inauguration/