U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Phone knocked from student journalist’s hands while reporting at Northwestern U

Incident Details

Northwestern News Network/Logan Schiciano

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, on April 26, 2024. The day prior, a protester knocked a phone from the hands of student journalist Logan Schiciano while he reported on the encampment.

— Northwestern News Network/Logan Schiciano
April 25, 2024

Logan Schiciano, the news director for the student-run broadcaster Northwestern News Network, had his phone knocked from his hands while reporting on a student protest on the university’s campus in Evanston, Illinois, on April 25, 2024.

Students had erected tents on a central campus green that morning in support of Palestinians, calling on the university to divest and cut ties with companies and institutions connected to Israel, The Daily Northwestern reported.

Schiciano told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he arrived at the encampment about an hour and a half after students set up their tents. A few minutes later, he began filming with his phone.

In a video Schiciano posted on social media, individuals can be seen erecting tents on a lawn when they notice Schiciano filming. Two individuals rush toward the student journalist, and one appears to lunge at Schiciano and knock the phone from his hand.

Schiciano said that his phone fell to the ground, but was undamaged.

“They tried to claim that I wasn’t allowed to film because they didn’t consent to having their faces shown. I tried to level with them and explain that press — or anyone really — can film in a public space on campus,” Schiciano told the Tracker. “It was a bit of an off-putting start to my coverage there, but thankfully since that incident I haven’t had anything like that and for the most part the organizers have been pretty receptive, understanding that there’s media there trying to cover their encampment.”

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