U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

5.26.2020 – 5.25.2021

Highlighting 12 months of press freedom violations from Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests sparked by the May 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In that time, journalists across the U.S. were assaulted, arrested, had their equipment damaged and were otherwise impeded in numbers never before documented by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher (Modified by Harris Lapiroff)

Shortly after taking this image of a Minneapolis police officer clearing a cameraman from near the police department’s Fifth Precinct on May 30, 2020, Reuters photojournalist Adam Bettcher was shot at with a projectile. Bettcher told the Tracker that he was holding up his press credentials and shining a flashlight at himself as he approached a police line, yelling out, “I’m press! I’m press.”

— REUTERS/Adam Bettcher (Modified by Harris Lapiroff)

VISUALIZING ATTACKS ON PRESS FREEDOM | Explore our data using the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker API.

Between the bookends: 1 year of press freedom violations

In 365 days, press freedom violations were reported across 36 states and more than 80 cities. In that time, an average of 1.6 assaults of journalists occurred per day. The majority of the assaults documented — more than 85% — were by law enforcement.

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