Journalists removed from Iowa Senate floor, overturning a century-old practice

January 7, 2022
Republican leaders in the Iowa Senate issued new rules moving reporters off the Senate floor and into a gallery upstairs, overturning a longstanding practice, the Des Moines Register reported on Jan. 7, 2022.According to the Register, for more than a century journalists have been permitted to work at press benches along the front wall of the chamber which allow a clear view of debate and access to the senators. When the new session begins on Jan. 10, journalists will be …

Reporter arrested, phone confiscated while covering NC homeless camp eviction

December 25, 2021
Asheville Blade reporter Matilda Bliss was arrested alongside a colleague while covering a police eviction of a homeless encampment in Asheville, North Carolina, on Dec. 25, 2021.Bliss, whose pronouns are she/they, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker she had been at Aston Park multiple times throughout the day but had left to run an errand at approximately 9 p.m. Both Bliss and Blade reporter Veronica Coit returned to the park a little before 10 p.m. after receiving texts about a …

Journalist arrested while covering North Carolina homeless camp eviction

December 25, 2021
Veronica Coit, a reporter for the Asheville Blade, was arrested alongside another Blade reporter while covering a police eviction of a homeless encampment in Asheville, North Carolina, on Dec. 25, 2021.The Blade reported that Coit, whose pronouns are they/them, arrived at Aston Park after reporter Matilda Bliss discovered that a significant police force had gathered there shortly before 10 p.m. A small encampment in the park was the latest focus of ongoing city efforts to clear Asheville’s homeless populations out …

Independent journalist assaulted while documenting anti-vaccine protest

December 18, 2021
Independent videographer Sean Beckner-Carmitchel was assaulted while documenting an anti-vaccination protest in Los Angeles, California, on Dec. 18, 2021.Beckner-Carmitchel told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he arrived shortly after 1 p.m. to document an anti-vaccination mandate protest outside Getty House, the official home of Los Angeles' mayor. Approximately 10 protesters were gathered outside the residence, Beckner-Carmitchel said, and he initially intended on only documenting the demonstration for 30 minutes or so.An individual approached the journalist at around 1:20 p.m., upset …

As many as 20 journalists investigated by secretive CBP division

December 11, 2021
As many as 20 journalists were investigated by a secretive U.S. Customs and Border Protection division beginning in 2017, according to a December 2021 report by Yahoo News.The division, known as the Counter Network Division, would identify and vet individuals, including journalists, by pulling their email addresses, phone numbers and photos from their passport applications and running the information through multiple government databases.Journalists known to have been investigated by the division include then-Politico reporter Ali Watkins, Associated Press reporter Martha …

San Francisco Chronicle photographer robbed at gunpoint in Oakland, cameras stolen

December 3, 2021
An unidentified San Francisco Chronicle photographer was robbed at gunpoint in West Oakland, California, on Dec. 3, 2021. The Chronicle reported that the photographer was on assignment when multiple armed assailants stole two cameras before fleeing in a vehicle. An Oakland Police Department spokesperson said in a statement that the robbery was reported just before 3:30pm. Police officials also said the photographer was not injured during the incident. OPD did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.

Photojournalist arrested, equipment seized while documenting homeless encampment

November 30, 2021
Freelance photojournalist Jeremy Portje was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors and a felony while documenting a homeless encampment in Sausalito, California, on Nov. 30, 2021, according to an officer from the Sausalito Police Department.Portje was filming for a documentary about homelessness in Marin County, according to the Pacific Sun, a weekly newspaper in the county. A witness identified as a volunteer at the encampment told the Pacific Sun that an officer was following Portje and deliberately stood in front …

Bay Area broadcast security guard shot, killed in attempted robbery of news crew

November 24, 2021
An unidentified reporter for San Francisco-based broadcaster KRON4 News was robbed at gunpoint while reporting in downtown Oakland, California, on Nov. 24, 2021. The security guard accompanying the reporter was shot in the confrontation and later died from his injuries.KRON4 reported that the news crew was covering a recent robbery where 12 thieves donning masks and hoods raided a nearby clothing store. According to police, an assailant attempted to steal the news crew’s camera equipment at 12:19 p.m.The armed security …
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