U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Pennsylvania reporter assaulted while covering picket line

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 23, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
August 23, 2020

Michael Roknick, a reporter for The Sharon Herald, was assaulted while covering a steel union picket in Farrell, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 23, 2020, according to his.

The Herald reported that approximately a dozen union members were protesting outside NLMK Pennsylvania’s steel plant and told the outlet that they had been instructed not to speak to the press.

When Roknick attempted to photograph the picket line using his cellphone, members blocked their faces with signs, the outlet reported. Two of the picketers then rushed Roknick, and one threw him to the ground. Roknick’s elbow was scraped during the fall, but the reporter was otherwise uninjured.

The Herald reported that the outlet had filed an incident report with the Farrell Police Department, but did not plan to press charges.

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