U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Colorado reporter says he was assaulted by subject of reporting

Incident Details

Date of Incident
July 14, 2023
Silverton, Colorado


Was the journalist targeted?
July 14, 2023

Reporter Reuben Schafir of The Durango Herald said he was assaulted at a concert in Silverton, Colorado, on July 14, 2023, in retaliation for his reporting.

According to Schafir, a subject of two May stories about a group of Silverton skiers caught in an avalanche walked up behind him at the concert, slowly poured a beer over his head and told him, “Go fuck yourself.”

Schafir believes that the person attacked him because he “felt that the full narrative was not contained in my reporting, despite the fact that it was based off a first-person account posted to social media and official statements from first responders.”

The reporter also believes the individual may have acted because, as Schafir later learned, he had not notified all of his family members about the avalanche before the stories were published.

Schafir said he offered to talk with the individual after the stories were published, but that he did not respond. Schafir said he does not intend to file charges.

“I stand by the reporting,” he said. “Obviously having a beer dumped on you is a small offense in the larger scheme of what reporters go through — but it felt worthwhile to make a note of it as it speaks to some of the unique hardships that come with being a small town reporter."

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].