News and information to help journalists serve the public and stay safe.
June 3, 2020
The police treatment of journalists during coverage of the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd is gaining attention as the number of reporters, cameramen and photographers who report being arrested, tear gassed or hit by rubber-coated bullets rises.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker had identified at least 41 arrests or detainments of journalists by law enforcement and 153 assaults (125 by police), including 33 physical attacks, 35 tear gassings, 21 pepper sprayings and 55 instances of being hit by rubber bullets or other projectiles.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a freelance journalist against the city of Minneapolis. “The press is under assault in our city,” the 42-page complaint says. Brian Hauss , an ACLU staff attorney, said the organization plans other similar lawsuits in other states.

The aggressiveness toward journalists as they cover a subject of high public interest can have a chilling effect on news gathering and, at the very least, removes reporters from the scene and prevents them from reporting essential information.

“When journalists can't do their job, law enforcement and other officials act with impunity – endangering everyone who advocates for change,” Hauss wrote in a statement. 

Minneapolis City Attorney Erik Nilsson, in a statement to news organizations, said the city “will review the allegations and take them seriously.”

“We continue to support the First Amendment rights of everyone in Minneapolis,” he said.

In an open letter Monday, 28 journalism and press freedom organizations called on law enforcement, mayors and governors to stop the assault against journalists. On Tuesday, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in a letter co-signed by 115 news organizations and press freedom groups, called on Minnesota officials to halt attacks and arrests of journalists. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker data, Minneapolis has had the most incidents involving law enforcement and journalists.

Across the country, reporters posted videos or accounts of themselves being harassed or arrested by law enforcement officials. Tuesday night New York City police officers forced two Associated Press reporters to stop reporting the protests in the city. In Philadelphia, Kristen A. Graham , a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, was arrested Monday night after curfew , even though the city’s curfew order specifically excludes journalists. 

Images take us into hospitals, grocery stores, even empty spaces to show us the impact of coronavirus on the people and places affected by the pandemic. Award-winning independent photojournalist  Melissa Lyttle   and documentary photographer Rosem Morton , who is also a nurse , will talk about photography, trauma, and healing. 

Registration is open   for this conversation, which will take place on Zoom.
Good leaders know consistency matters, and resiliency requires practice . Confidence in leadership comes when teams know they are cared for as people and professionals and encouraged during difficult times . And education can help strengthen trust that you are an ally

Advice from  Jill Geisler , Bill Plante Chair in Leadership & Media Integrity, Loyola University Chicago, Freedom Forum Fellow in Women’s Leadership
The National Press Club Journalism Institute is spotlighting the next generation of journalists , students graduating from college or Master’s programs this spring into a challenging job market , in hopes they’ll meet future bosses and colleagues here who will reach out and support them in building journalism’s future together. 

Name : Mark Satter
School : Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism
Location : Washington, D.C.
Currently : White House pool reporter for Bloomberg News
Bylines : Military Times, The Dallas Morning News, MarketWatch,, STAT News

What do you want to accomplish in your journalism career?

Satter : Along with telling impactful stories, I would like to rebuild some of the trust in the media that has been lost.

In January, I covered a pro-gun rally in Richmond, Virginia. In the week leading up to the rally, news coverage predicted that the event would be violent. Reports said a " sense of crisis was enveloping Virginia's capital ," and that "white supremacists were swarming the area by the thousands."

The reality was different. It was true that everyone was heavily armed - but you might expect that at a pro-gun rally. And some far-right provocateurs, like the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, were in the crowd. But the event was peaceful, and the attendees generally friendly. 

What was palpable, though, was a distrust of the press from protestors. People that I spoke with told me that they doubted that I would represent them fairly in my reporting, as news reports had called them all white supremacists for the past week. Most of them were average Americans, protesting proposed firearm regulations. 

Self-care needs evolve. Visit our growing list of self-care practices and tips . You’ll learn how to give yourself permission to turn off the news , find balance and connection , how to fall and stay asleep , and how journaling can help process emotions , among other resources. 

Have a self-care tip or resource you’d like to share with fellow journalists? Email our team .
This newsletter is written & edited by the National Press Club Journalism Institute staff: Beth Francesco, Holly Butcher Grant, Jim Kuhnhenn, and Julie Moos. Send us your questions and suggestions for topics to cover.

Get this from a friend? Subscribe , and view the archives .