“The biggest mistake I made was trusting that the police would recognize the fact that we are there to document and remain impartial in that situation.”

The Guardian explores why freedom of the press appears to be just words to far too many cops in the United States right now.

This is what freedom of the press in America has looked like over the past week. As of 9pm Thursday, the US press freedom tracker has received 192 reports of journalists being attacked by police forces while covering the protests across the US.

This also is what happens when a president spends his entire time on office screaming that journalists are enemies of the people, emboldening rogue police and private citizens to treat these professionals as dangerous people who must be stopped.

To anyone who wishes to reply with “you’re trying to stir up hatred toward cops,” I have a simple response:

In the United States, no journalist should be tear gassed, pepper sprayed, shot or otherwise attacked by any law enforcement officer. Ever. Full stop.


  1. Well, Sir; you’re wrong. Enemy “journalists” and “journalists” who insert themselves into situations get whatever happens to them.

    That Freedom of the Press is predicated upon their upholding their duty to be to document and remain impartial in that situation, and it’s been long proven that the majority of them no longer do that and no longer even hide the fact that they don’t do that.

      1. No, but that is vanishingly rare in recent years. If it wasn’t so rare and so vilified by the major MSM players, I’d agree with you.

      2. Hypothetical situation: You and I are photographers; I work for the New York Times and you work the Wall Street Journal. We are positioned across from each other on a major NYC street as police move in to break up a protest, and you and I get pepper sprayed. Will the logo on our media badges really matter? No, we were photojournalists who were treated improperly. That’s the thrust of the Guardian’s story

      3. Did we abide by the officers’ rulings on where was an appropriate and safe place to be? If not, oh well.

        You’re describing what is very close to being a warzone. The Press, valid or not, need to abide by the rules of those tasked with the engagement.

      4. A safe place as a protest turns violent? No such place exists. But our ability to ID ourselves matters. And when we do, we are off limits.

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