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[ { "title": "Alabama radio station ceases transmission after broadcast tower stolen", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/alabama-radio-station-ceases-transmission-after-broadcast-tower-stolen/", "first_published_at": "2024-02-14T20:29:52.987531Z", "last_published_at": "2024-02-14T20:29:52.987531Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-02-14T20:29:52.705116Z", "date": "2024-02-02", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Jasper", "longitude": -87.27751, "latitude": 33.83122, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"jvctl\">A 200-foot AM radio tower for Jasper, Alabama, broadcaster WJLX was stolen “without a trace” on Feb. 2, 2024, according to the station. </p><p data-block-key=\"6ohvn\">“I’ve been around the business my whole life, I’ve been in it professionally for 26 years and I’ve never heard of an entire tower being stolen,” WJLX General Manager Brett Elmore told Birmingham television station WABM. </p><p data-block-key=\"2aca8\">WJLX, which is now unable to broadcast on its AM frequency, <a href=\"https://www.wjlx1015.com/\">said it has</a> since had to shut down its broadcast operations entirely, including its FM station. The Federal Communications Commission told WJLX on Feb. 8 that it could not operate its FM transmitter while the AM station is off the air. It will continue to stream its programming only via the internet and its apps, it said.</p><p data-block-key=\"c8hi9\">Elmore has also filed a request with the FCC for WJLX to remain silent for now without losing its license, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/02/09/alabama-radio-station-tower-missing/\">The Washington Post reported</a>. The paper said if stations remain silent for more than one year, the FCC considers them expired.</p><p data-block-key=\"a63kd\">The station’s absence was a cause for worry for Sharon Tinely, president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association, who told WABM, “What if there were a crisis going on right now that the community needs to hear information from local sources on a local radio station and they can’t.” </p><p data-block-key=\"f5dil\">“This is a huge loss,” Elmore <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/08/alabama-200ft-radio-tower-stolen\">told the Guardian</a>. “People have reached out and asked how they can help, but I don’t know how you can help unless you have a 200ft tower and an AM transmitter.” </p><p data-block-key=\"9bmqu\">The tower was uninsured, according to Elmore, and replacing it could cost $60,000-plus. WJLX has set up <a href=\"https://www.gofundme.com/f/wjlx-1240-am-tower-and-equipment-replacement?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&amp;utm_medium=copy_link_all&amp;utm_source=customer\">a GoFundMe account</a> and so far raised over $8,000.</p><p data-block-key=\"3cl15\">That station said it was alerted to the theft when a landscaping cleanup crew arrived at the tower site to clean up the property, only to find it completely cleared out by the thieves. “I couldn’t believe it,” Elmore recalled.” I asked him [the landscaper] if he was sure he was at the right place. He responded, ‘the tower is gone. Wires are scattered everywhere.’”</p><p data-block-key=\"51g8e\">The radio tower was located in a wooded area, behind a local poultry plant, The Guardian reported. Elmore told the paper that thieves had cut the tower’s wires and somehow removed it, while also taking the station’s AM transmitter from a nearby building. </p><p data-block-key=\"43nka\">Elmore said he believes the thieves may have targeted the tower to sell the metal and also told The Guardian that about six months ago, a nearby radio station had its air conditioning unit, copper pipes and other materials stolen.</p><p data-block-key=\"5ck49\">The station has filed charges with the Jasper Police Department and the case is currently under investigation. </p><p data-block-key=\"304fv\">“This is a federal crime and whoever did this it’s not worth your time, effort or energy,” Elmore told WABM. “Because when we find you, you are going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Screen_Shot_2024-02-09_at_2.51.04.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"rmnte\">WJLX’s AM radio tower disappeared on Feb. 2, leaving behind a concrete slab and cut wires.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": "unknown", "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [ { "quantity": 1, "equipment": "broadcast tower" }, { "quantity": 1, "equipment": "radio transmitter" } ], "state": { "name": "Alabama", "abbreviation": "AL" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "WJLX" ], "tags": [ "robbery" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Equipment Damage" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Judge orders Oregonian to destroy Nike lawsuit documents", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/judge-orders-oregonian-to-destroy-nike-lawsuit-documents/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-31T16:54:41.617437Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-01T19:30:53.875825Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-01T19:30:53.780275Z", "date": "2024-01-26", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Portland", "longitude": -122.67621, "latitude": 45.52345, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"s631b\">A federal judge ordered The Oregonian on Jan. 26, 2024, to return documents related to a gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike and destroy any copies, after the plaintiff’s lawyer inadvertently sent them to a reporter on Jan. 19.</p><p data-block-key=\"dfend\">Judge Jolie A. Russo said in her order that the Portland, Oregon-based daily newspaper must agree “not to disseminate that information in any way; and to destroy any copies in its possession” by Jan. 31.</p><p data-block-key=\"ca68g\">That publishing gag was vacated, or withdrawn, on Jan. 30 by another judge, who ruled that Russo must hold a hearing to allow The Oregonian to make arguments against the order before reviewing the issue again. The paper, in a <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ord.139235/gov.uscourts.ord.139235.414.0.pdf\">Jan. 29 appeal</a>, had argued that Russo did not allow the news organization to be heard in court, which it called a “quintessential due process violation.”</p><p data-block-key=\"mhhc\">Russo held a hearing Jan. 30 and ordered the plaintiff’s attorneys to respond by Feb. 6 to arguments made by The Oregonian in its appeal.</p><p data-block-key=\"4hppv\">“Prior restraint by government goes against every principle of the free press in this country,” Therese Bottomly, editor and vice president of content for The Oregonian, said in a statement emailed to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. “This is highly unusual, and we will defend our First Amendment rights in court.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7uosi\">In its Jan. 29 appeal, The Oregonian argued that because it is a “non-party intervener” and has no stake in the outcome of the lawsuit, it is not subject to a protective order covering the documents.</p><p data-block-key=\"36vdh\">“The Documents contain no national security implications, there is no risk of bodily harm or safety to any individual, and there are no competing constitutional rights at play—The Oregonian is the only one whose constitutional rights are on the line,” the filing read.</p><p data-block-key=\"fmio\">The Oregonian was writing an article, based on its independent reporting, about a <a href=\"https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2018/08/class-action_lawsuit_on_nike_w.html\">culture of sexual harassment</a> at Nike, when the attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit accidentally shared the documents in an email attachment.</p><p data-block-key=\"26gf8\">The judge said the documents were subject to the case’s protective order, which makes them unviewable to the public. Other documents have been unsealed after a <a href=\"https://www.businessinsider.com/insider-oregonian-portland-business-journal-unseal-nike-discrimination-lawsuit-2022-4\">coalition of news outlets</a>, including The Oregonian, filed a motion in court in April 2022.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/The_Oregonian.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"r6xfo\">A judge ordered The Oregonian to destroy documents about a gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike that were inadvertently released to the news outlet. The publishing gag, or prior restraint, has been withdrawn until another hearing can be held.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": "struck down", "mistakenly_released_materials": true, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Oregon", "abbreviation": "OR" }, "updates": [ "(2024-02-28 00:00:00+00:00) Judge allows Oregonian to keep Nike lawsuit documents" ], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "The Oregonian" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Prior Restraint" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Judge lifts Indybay gag order over voided search warrant", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/judge-lifts-indybay-gag-order-over-voided-search-warrant/", "first_published_at": "2024-03-14T18:46:42.415061Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-14T18:46:42.415061Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-14T18:46:42.230016Z", "date": "2024-01-24", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "San Francisco", "longitude": -122.41942, "latitude": 37.77493, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"r9jn1\">San Francisco police on Jan. 24, 2024, obtained a warrant to search independent news outlet Indybay’s electronic data, along with a 90-day gag order preventing Indybay from discussing or writing about its existence, according to court documents.</p><p data-block-key=\"63ajl\">The warrant, which police later decided against pursuing, sought to identify the author of an Indybay post who claimed to have vandalized the San Francisco Police Credit Union.</p><p data-block-key=\"2spb6\">The nondisclosure order was ultimately <a href=\"https://www.eff.org/files/2024/03/07/3.7.24_indybay_-_order.pdf\">lifted</a> on March 7 by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Linda Colfax, allowing Indybay to <a href=\"https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2024/03/07/18863966.php\">speak publicly</a> about the warrant. Also on March 7, the San Francisco Police Department <a href=\"https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/news/san-francisco-police-department-voids-search-warrant-issued\">said</a> it had decided not to act on the warrant due to potential First Amendment issues.</p><p data-block-key=\"2l8tp\">The warrant stemmed from a Jan. 18 <a href=\"https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2024/01/18/18862190.php\">post</a> on Indybay, published under the pseudonym “some anarchists,” in which the author took responsibility for having smashed windows at the credit union earlier that day in an “act of vengeance” on the one-year anniversary of the <a href=\"https://www.hrc.org/news/remembering-tortuguita-indigenous-queer-and-non-binary-environmental-activist-and-forest-defender\">police shooting death</a> of an environmental activist in Atlanta.</p><p data-block-key=\"ce4ri\">Indybay, a volunteer-run, community-sourced <a href=\"https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/12/08/16643971.php\">newswire</a> also known as the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, allows anyone to self-publish articles, photos, videos and other material on the site. The posts are reviewed by Indybay editors, who according to the site’s <a href=\"https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2002/08/04/1395001.php\">editorial policies</a> may combine them, make edits for spelling or grammar, or hide them if they are deemed “false, libelous, abusive … or hate speech.”</p><p data-block-key=\"f4lns\">On Jan. 24, the police obtained the <a href=\"https://www.eff.org/document/indybay-search-warrant\">search warrant</a>, which required Indybay to turn over information that would help identify the author of the story, such as IP addresses, website login credentials, and email addresses and phone numbers.</p><p data-block-key=\"cdiri\">Indybay asked the police to withdraw the warrant on Jan. 29, <a href=\"https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2024/03/victory-eff-helps-resist-unlawful-warrant-and-gag-order-issued-independent-news\">arguing that it was illegal</a> under <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/privilege-compendium/california/\">California’s shield law</a> and the federal <a href=\"https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/2000aa\">Privacy Protection Act</a>, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which provided the outlet with pro bono legal assistance. The SFPD told Indybay on Jan. 31 that it would take no further action on the warrant.</p><p data-block-key=\"c3fq\">Indybay filed a motion on Feb. 22 not only to <a href=\"https://www.eff.org/document/indybay-motion-quash\">formally quash</a> the warrant but also the nondisclosure order — which remained in effect — arguing that it violated the First Amendment as a “content-based prior restraint on speech.”</p><p data-block-key=\"e487\">Colfax vacated the gag order on March 7, while also confirming that the search warrant had become void on Feb. 3, “as no search occurred and no records were received.”</p><p data-block-key=\"ejs8d\">EFF Staff Attorney F. Mario Trujillo told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker in an email that “SFPD and the judge did not end up taking a position” on the argument that the search warrant was unlawful. “SFPD, instead, took the position that—regardless of whether the warrant was unlawful when it was first issued—it became void after 10 days when SFPD declined to pursue it further in the face of Indybay’s resistance,” he added.</p><p data-block-key=\"6mhje\">Trujillo went on to say that Colfax supported that interpretation <a href=\"https://www.eff.org/files/2024/03/07/3.7.24_indybay_-_order.pdf\">in her order</a>, adding, “It was important for the judge to confirm that and give Indybay certainty on the record.”</p><p data-block-key=\"ast0i\">SFPD, in a March 7 <a href=\"https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/news/san-francisco-police-department-voids-search-warrant-issued\">news release</a>, said that when Police Chief William “Bill” Scott learned of the warrant, he “immediately ordered officers to not pursue it over questions about possible First Amendment and Freedom of the Press issues.”</p><p data-block-key=\"5oo4p\">The statement added that the police department is committed to supporting the free press and has policies and training related to California’s shield law. The SFPD had previously pledged to ensure that all employees were properly trained on journalist protections with regard to police searches and subpoenas as part of a <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/san-francisco-police-use-search-warrant-raid-home-office-independent-journalist-source-material/\">settlement</a> after a police raid and search of a journalist’s home in 2019.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Screenshot_2024-03-13_at_11.54.45.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"m90wz\">A portion of a March 7, 2024, order by a San Francisco judge lifting a gag order that prohibited Indybay from disclosing a search warrant issued in January.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "warrant", "legal_order_venue": "State", "status_of_prior_restraint": "struck down", "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Indybay" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order", "Prior Restraint" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Oregon Public Broadcasting, reporter sued by Portland to block records release", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/oregon-public-broadcasting-reporter-sued-by-portland-to-block-records-release/", "first_published_at": "2024-04-01T17:12:59.349330Z", "last_published_at": "2024-04-01T17:12:59.349330Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-04-01T17:12:31.734907Z", "date": "2024-01-22", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Portland", "longitude": -122.67621, "latitude": 45.52345, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"qc0f9\">The City of Portland sued Oregon Public Broadcasting and one of its reporters on Jan. 22, 2024, seeking to block the release of public records about businesses that paid taxes to the city’s clean energy fund, according to court documents reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.</p><p data-block-key=\"2japd\">The suit stemmed from an October 2023 public records request filed by OPB environmental reporter Monica Samayoa that sought a list of companies that paid into the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund in 2022, according to the complaint and local <a href=\"https://www.koin.com/local/city-of-portland-suing-opb-to-block-clean-energy-fund-public-records-request/\">media</a> <a href=\"https://www.oregonlive.com/watchdog/2024/01/portland-sues-opb-seeks-to-block-public-release-of-business-clean-energy-tax-payments.html\">reports</a>. Samayoa also asked for the amounts each company paid to the fund in 2022.</p><p data-block-key=\"588vh\">The fund is a voter-approved <a href=\"https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/674246\">program</a> that pays for climate initiatives by applying a 1% tax to Portland businesses with earnings over certain thresholds.</p><p data-block-key=\"118f6\">The city denied the request, citing taxpayers’ right to confidentiality. The outlet petitioned Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who on Jan. 8 ordered the city to release the records “in such a format as to not associate any individual business name with any dollar amount,” according to the complaint.</p><p data-block-key=\"6jbp6\">Instead of turning over the documents, the city filed suit against OPB and Samayoa in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeking to block their release. The city argued that releasing the records would violate local, state and federal laws protecting the taxpayers’ confidentiality, and that Oregon’s <a href=\"https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors192.html\">public records law</a> provided for exemptions on these grounds.</p><p data-block-key=\"bi0ot\">OPB and Samayoa on March 6 filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and award the defendants legal costs, according to court documents reviewed by the Tracker. In the motion, the defendants argued that the city’s lawsuit isn’t permitted under the Oregon Public Records Law, which restricts such actions to those seeking public records. “In short, only requesters should decide if a trip to court is worth the time and expense.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7427m\">In a statement emailed to the Tracker on March 27, OPB said: “By bringing this suit, the City of Portland is effectively saying that Oregonians who exercise their rights under public records law may be sued. That result would harm journalism and it would have a chilling effect on public inquiry.”</p><p data-block-key=\"4vanu\">The suit also prompted business groups in February to lobby state legislators to change Oregon’s Public Records Law to prohibit local governments from disclosing nearly all taxpayer information, The Oregonian <a href=\"https://www.oregonlive.com/watchdog/2024/02/portland-businesses-push-for-public-records-exemption-amid-pending-release-of-which-firms-paid-clean-energy-tax.html\">reported</a>. After pushback on the proposed changes from press and transparency groups, the legislature ultimately added language to Oregon’s tax law on March 7 <a href=\"https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4031/Enrolled\">clarifying</a> that local government agencies are required to follow the same confidentiality guidelines as the Oregon Department of Revenue, <a href=\"https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com/2024/03/07/oregon-legislature-reaches-compromise-on-public-records-proposal/\">news</a> <a href=\"https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2024/03/after-serial-blunders-by-portland-city-attorneys-oregon-public-records-laws-likely-to-remain-unchanged.html\">reports</a> said.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Screenshot_2024-04-01_at_1.11.31P.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"hg9ng\">A portion of a complaint filed by the City of Portland on Jan. 22, 2024, against Oregon Public Broadcasting and reporter Monica Samayoa, seeking to block the release of public records about businesses that paid into Portland’s clean energy fund.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Oregon", "abbreviation": "OR" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Oregon Public Broadcasting" ], "tags": [ "environmentalism", "public records" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Chilling Statement" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Monica Samayoa (Oregon Public Broadcasting)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Colorado resident swipes issues of local weekly covering sexual assault case", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/colorado-resident-swipes-issues-of-local-weekly-covering-sexual-assault-case/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-26T16:28:06.088594Z", "last_published_at": "2024-01-29T21:21:32.224894Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-01-29T21:21:32.142702Z", "date": "2024-01-18", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Ridgway", "longitude": -107.76173, "latitude": 38.15277, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"yozwk\">More than 200 copies of a weekly Colorado newspaper, the Ouray County Plaindealer, were stolen, and then returned, on Jan. 18, 2024, after it published a story detailing an alleged rape that occurred inside the home of a local police chief.</p><p data-block-key=\"6qkta\">“All of our newspaper racks in Ouray and all but one rack in Ridgway were hit by a thief who stole all the newspapers,” Erin McIntyre, co-publisher of the Plaindealer and author of the story, wrote in a statement displayed above the paper’s <a href=\"https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?u=66f46a620a5cfcb1f7e9aa021&amp;id=34b94b74c6\">Jan. 18 e-edition</a>. “It’s pretty clear that someone didn’t want the community to read the news this week.”</p><p data-block-key=\"2ur4\">The story discussed details of the allegations, including about the three arrested suspects, one of whom is the stepson of the Ouray Police chief.</p><p data-block-key=\"37iso\">In the wake of the theft, residents raised over $1,000 to fund any loss in revenue the paper experienced, a portion of which has been donated to a local sexual assault support and advocacy organization.</p></div>\n<div class=\"block-tweet\"><div class=\"tweet-embed\">\n <div>\n <blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">Someone didn&#39;t like this edition of <a href=\"https://twitter.com/ocplaindealer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@ocplaindealer</a>. (Guess which article.) So they stole nearly every newspaper out of our racks in Ouray County. If you hoped to silence or intimidate us, you failed miserably. We&#39;ll find out who did this. And another press run is imminent. <a href=\"https://t.co/y8YF5evFms\">pic.twitter.com/y8YF5evFms</a></p>&mdash; Mike Wiggins (@mikewiggins76) <a href=\"https://twitter.com/mikewiggins76/status/1748088243319443926?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">January 18, 2024</a></blockquote>\n<script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"></script>\n\n\n</div>\n\n</div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"yozwk\">But in what McIntyre told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker was a “bizarre twist,” a county resident later confessed to the theft and said that he was trying to protect the accuser, not the defendants.</p><p data-block-key=\"egm65\">“I want to make it clear my intentions were completely opposite of what has been portrayed in the media,” Paul Choate wrote on his personal Facebook page. “My motivation behind this is to bring to light that no details in any victims statements and interviews should be posted without their consent.”</p><p data-block-key=\"cs4ob\">Choate added, “I realize this [stealing the newspapers] was not the appropriate response.” Upon returning the stolen papers, he says he offered compensation for any revenue the Plaindealer lost as a result.</p><p data-block-key=\"dd953\">According to McIntyre, Choate has been issued a court summons for 12 counts of petty theft, one for each newspaper rack he stole from, and may have to pay a $1,200 fine.</p><p data-block-key=\"91vf7\">The Plaindealer staff is now reconsidering how the story was reported, McIntyre said, explaining that she was communicating with the accuser via a third party, but that the details of the story were never successfully conveyed to the accuser. In a Jan. 25 <a href=\"https://www.ouraynews.com/2024/01/24/local-news-minefield-tough-decisions-lessons-learned/\">editorial</a>, the Plaindealer apologized to the victim for any harm caused by its reporting.</p><p data-block-key=\"4d56p\">“She is pretty angry, and I understand why,” McIntyre told the Tracker. “From now on, I will only communicate directly with her.”</p><p data-block-key=\"9m9fq\">McIntyre added: “We have a duty to report on the serious crimes in this community, even if it’s ugly or horrifying. But we’re also tasked with reporting on it with some sort of sensitivity to the victim or other past victims who may be reading the story. … We’re trying to find that balance.”</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Screenshot_2024-01-29_at_4.00.17P.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"bz57j\">More than 200 copies of the Ouray County Plaindealer were stolen after it reported on allegations of a sexual assault.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Colorado", "abbreviation": "CO" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Ouray County Plaindealer" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Other Incident" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Los Angeles city attorney files second lawsuit against journalist over records", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/los-angeles-city-attorney-files-second-lawsuit-against-journalist-over-records/", "first_published_at": "2024-02-13T23:11:39.425889Z", "last_published_at": "2024-02-13T23:11:39.425889Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-02-13T20:38:33.529607Z", "date": "2024-01-16", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Los Angeles", "longitude": -118.24368, "latitude": 34.05223, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"zilod\">Journalist Ben Camacho was sued by the City of Los Angeles for the second time on Jan. 16, 2024, in an attempt to hold him and an activist group financially liable in a related suit over the release of police headshots.</p><p data-block-key=\"q5nf\">Camacho, a reporter and photo editor for the nonprofit community journalism outlet Knock LA, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he had previously filed a public records lawsuit against the city after the Los Angeles Police Department refused to release the personnel headshots of officers.</p><p data-block-key=\"ak3p3\">As part of a settlement agreement in September 2022, the city provided Camacho a printed roster of sworn officers, a flash drive containing 9,310 officers’ photos and a letter explaining that officers working in undercover assignments had been excluded from the disclosures.</p><p data-block-key=\"5haeq\">After the photos were published online in March 2023 by the activist group, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, Camacho said it quickly became apparent that there were more images disclosed than the LAPD had wanted. On March 28, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a police union, sued the city demanding that it recover the headshots. A week later, a group of rank-and-file officers filed a class-action suit seeking damages for negligence.</p><p data-block-key=\"fkvgb\">The city, in turn, <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/los-angeles-sues-journalist-in-attempt-to-claw-back-photos-of-police-officers/\">filed its first suit</a> against Camacho and the activist group on April 5 in an attempt to force the return of the photographs and the destruction of any copies. The <a href=\"https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AIj5Sw8hmUe5lpI&amp;id=C23E847DDB3F4FE9%2122685&amp;cid=C23E847DDB3F4FE9&amp;parId=root&amp;parQt=sharedby&amp;o=OneUp\">latest lawsuit</a> seeks to have Camacho and Stop LAPD Spying Coalition held financially liable for the damages sought in the negligence class-action suit.</p><p data-block-key=\"aaj5f\">Camacho told the Tracker that he believes Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto is pursuing the cases against him without clear support from the mayor or city council.</p><p data-block-key=\"7s7g7\">“This is an elected official who isn’t afraid to ignore First Amendment-protected activity, this is someone who is pro-government secrecy, this is someone who is anti-transparency,” Camacho said. “And she’s also not afraid to go after the California Public Records Act.”</p><p data-block-key=\"f21sm\">Feldstein Soto <a href=\"https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-06-22/police-photo-release-la-city-attorney-legislation-weaken-public-records-law\">lobbied</a> in 2023 for an amendment to the public records act that would make identifying information — including photos — of public employees exempt from disclosure. Camacho told the Tracker that such an exemption would enable the LAPD to operate as secret police. The proposal did not come to a vote in 2023 but could be reintroduced.</p><p data-block-key=\"10e9f\">In a <a href=\"https://twitter.com/bencamach0/status/1753141637092610415\">post on social media</a>, Camacho called the new lawsuit “another stain on the office she holds.”</p></div>\n<div class=\"block-tweet\"><div class=\"tweet-embed\">\n <div>\n <blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">My full statement:<br><br>Hydee Feldstein Soto has chosen to further her attack on press freedom. This new lawsuit is another stain on the office she holds.<br><br>At a time when the future of local media is threatened, Soto has chosen to push her boot down again on the First Amendment.<br><br>1/x <a href=\"https://t.co/kMTIQPH6ah\">https://t.co/kMTIQPH6ah</a></p>&mdash; camacho (@bencamach0) <a href=\"https://twitter.com/bencamach0/status/1753141637092610415?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">February 1, 2024</a></blockquote>\n<script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"></script>\n\n\n</div>\n\n</div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"zilod\">Knock LA expressed its support for Camacho and condemned the lawsuits in a statement posted on its website.</p><p data-block-key=\"36qri\">“Throughout what has become a longstanding battle, Feldstein Soto and her legal team have repeatedly violated the constitutional and First Amendment rights of journalists and the public to report on public servants,” the statement read. “As we continue to lose the local news landscape of Los Angeles to corporate greed and mismanagement, this attack on the free and independent press by the city is especially poignant.”</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Camcho_Lawsuit_2.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"lky91\">A portion of a lawsuit filed against Knock LA reporter Ben Camacho on Jan. 16, 2024, attempting to hold him and an advocacy group financially responsible for damages in a class-action suit filed against the Los Angeles Police Department.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [ "public records" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Chilling Statement" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Ben Camacho (Knock LA)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Two arrested after Oklahoma radio tower toppled, section stolen", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/two-arrested-after-oklahoma-radio-tower-toppled-section-stolen/", "first_published_at": "2024-02-20T21:21:49.266022Z", "last_published_at": "2024-02-20T21:21:49.266022Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-02-20T21:21:49.193620Z", "date": "2024-01-15", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Hugo", "longitude": -95.50968, "latitude": 34.01066, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"97z0a\">Two individuals allegedly knocked over KITX’s FM radio tower and stole a section of the structure on Jan. 15, 2024, forcing the Hugo, Oklahoma, station off the air for 10 days, according to the broadcaster.</p><p data-block-key=\"1jvup\">Will Payne, president of Payne Media Group, which owns the station and the tower, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that the top half of the nearly 500-foot tower fell after the two suspects cut the guy-wires supporting it. Payne said he believes the suspects cut the bottom half into pieces and carried them into a vehicle. The theft caused more than $500,000 in damage, he added.</p><p data-block-key=\"1o3hn\">“We’re hunting down somebody that brought down a tower in order to get a little hundred-dollar fix of copper,” Payne was <a href=\"https://www.kwch.com/2024/01/17/disbelief-thieves-cut-down-500-foot-radio-tower-steal-copper-it-owner-says/\">reported</a> to have said at the time of the theft. “Seriously, that’s about all it’s going to be worth to them.”</p><p data-block-key=\"cngfh\">The Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects on Jan. 18, according to the <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/k955fm/videos/1124750695351414\">station’s Facebook page</a>, after they sold copper from the tower to a nearby junkyard the day after the theft. One suspect is currently being held on a $500,000 bond, while the other has since been released, Payne told the Tracker.</p><p data-block-key=\"24r7p\">Payne said that when he first saw the red and white tower on the ground, he assumed it was brought down by ice or inclement weather. But once he saw the open door to the transmitter building, he knew something was seriously wrong.</p><p data-block-key=\"1m1f1\">“I had never heard of this as a criminal act. It’s always weather related,” Payne told the Tracker. “To be honest, … that’s why we have insurance.”</p><p data-block-key=\"mfhv\">The country music station was able to get back on the air at half power just 10 days after the theft, thanks to community and industry support, Payne said.</p><p data-block-key=\"3f7m2\">“(Tower builders) were able to build four 20-foot sections of tower in four days, which is unheard of,” he said. “That’s a very, very aggressive timeline to get back on the air. We’re half the tower, half the power.”</p><p data-block-key=\"4lf1n\">Payne said some listeners may have more difficulty accessing the radio station because of the weaker signal. He added that he hopes that the station will be able to operate at full power again in the next 90 days.</p><p data-block-key=\"9a5lh\">KITX is not the only radio station that has recently seen its tower stolen and damaged. In early February, an AM radio tower in Alabama <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/alabama-radio-station-ceases-transmission-after-broadcast-tower-stolen/\">mysteriously vanished</a>. That station is still unable to broadcast and is unsure whether it will be able to rebuild its radio tower because it was uninsured.</p><p data-block-key=\"d43ka\">Since going public, Payne said he had heard similar stories from a number of internet service providers of their towers being destroyed or vandalized.</p><p data-block-key=\"21gej\">“It’s a horrible trend,” Payne said.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/IMG_5330_BOzUa4k.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"sojq8\">The upper half of KITX’s radio tower is seen after being knocked over on Jan. 15, 2024, in Hugo, Oklahoma. The bottom half was stolen and its parts sold for copper.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": "private individual", "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [ { "quantity": 1, "equipment": "broadcast tower" } ], "state": { "name": "Oklahoma", "abbreviation": "OK" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "KITX" ], "tags": [ "robbery" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Equipment Damage" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "U.S. News subpoenaed about hospital rankings by city attorney", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/us-news-subpoenaed-about-hospital-rankings-by-city-attorney/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-31T19:20:14.192860Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-10T20:03:48.337612Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-10T20:03:48.242467Z", "date": "2024-01-09", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "San Francisco", "longitude": -122.41942, "latitude": 37.77493, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"izbqi\">U.S. News &amp; World Report was issued two subpoenas on Jan. 9, 2024, by the city attorney for San Francisco, California, seeking information about its hospital rankings and related business dealings.</p><p data-block-key=\"8ng4e\">For more than three decades, the digital media company has produced multiple such rankings, including its Best Hospitals Honor Roll, Best Hospitals by Specialty and Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. It also licenses out “badges” with those rankings to interested hospitals.</p><p data-block-key=\"6jqj3\">The subpoenas order U.S. News to <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.423781/gov.uscourts.cand.423781.1.4.pdf\">answer written questions</a> and <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.423781/gov.uscourts.cand.423781.1.5.pdf\">produce documents</a> pertaining to the rankings and U.S. News’ relationships with various health care providers.</p><p data-block-key=\"bd8mt\">San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu first demanded answers about the media company’s process for ranking hospitals in a <a href=\"https://www.sfcityattorney.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/2023-06-20-Ltr-to-USNWR-re-Hospital-Rankings.pdf\">letter in June 2023</a>, citing his authority under the California Business and Professions Code to investigate potentially unlawful business practices. Chiu alleged that the rankings had come under scrutiny for what he described as their “poor and opaque methodology.”</p><p data-block-key=\"pf7o\">In a <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.423781/gov.uscourts.cand.423781.1.0_1.pdf\">lawsuit</a> filed on Jan. 23, 2024, U.S. News defended its methodology, noting that detailed reports on how the ranking is compiled are published each year. The suit requested protective orders to prevent the city attorney’s office from enforcing the subpoenas and asked that the media company be awarded attorneys fees and costs.</p><p data-block-key=\"3opre\">“The Subpoenas make clear that the City Attorney is using governmental process to engage in viewpoint discrimination—and, indeed, is proceeding as though he holds censorial (or editorial) authority over how U.S. News performs its journalistic work ranking hospitals,” attorneys for U.S. News wrote. “It is flatly unconstitutional for the City Attorney to harass U.S. News due to his differing views on these rankings; his mounting harassment must be put to a stop.”</p><p data-block-key=\"bp6rg\">In a statement shared with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, Chiu said it was “ironic” that U.S. News was claiming that its speech has been chilled “when the purpose of the company&#x27;s lawsuit is to chill and impede a legitimate government investigation.”</p><p data-block-key=\"75d0k\">“Despite U.S. News’ stated commitment to transparency, the company has spent months evading tough questions about its undisclosed financial links to the hospitals it ranks,” Chiu said. “U.S. News is not above the law, and its bullying litigation tactics will not deter us from standing up for patients and consumers.”</p><p data-block-key=\"b78kt\">In its filing, however, U.S. News stated that it responded to Chiu’s initial letter — explaining its well-documented methodology and raising concerns about the potential infringement of its rights — and did not receive any additional communications from his office for nearly six months.</p><p data-block-key=\"cab6k\">“The City Attorney’s actions pose a fundamental threat to our First Amendment rights and set a dangerous precedent for all media platforms and news organizations,” the lawsuit argues. It added that if Chiu&#x27;s actions are allowed to stand, “any journalistic enterprise that provides analyses or opinions to the public—analyses or opinions that elected officials may wish to fault—may for that reason be subject to subpoena and investigation.”</p><p data-block-key=\"boe0s\">A hearing in the case is scheduled for April 23.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/U.S._News_-_testimony.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"46am6\">A portion of a subpoena issued to U.S. News &amp; World Report on Jan. 9, 2024, ordering the news outlet to answer questions concerning its hospital rankings.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": "3:24-cv-00395", "case_type": "CIVIL", "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "subpoena", "legal_order_venue": "State", "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [ "ongoing" ], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "U.S. News & World Report" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "U.S. News subpoenaed for documents by San Francisco city attorney", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/us-news-subpoenaed-for-documents-by-san-francisco-city-attorney/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-31T19:15:54.349134Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-10T20:03:29.489929Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-10T20:03:29.402304Z", "date": "2024-01-09", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "San Francisco", "longitude": -122.41942, "latitude": 37.77493, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"jh6l3\">U.S. News &amp; World Report was issued two subpoenas on Jan. 9, 2024, by the city attorney for San Francisco, California, seeking information about its hospital rankings and related business dealings.</p><p data-block-key=\"4oqah\">For more than three decades, the digital media company has produced multiple such rankings, including its Best Hospitals Honor Roll, Best Hospitals by Specialty and Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. It also licenses out “badges” with those rankings to interested hospitals.</p><p data-block-key=\"cs7h7\">The subpoenas order U.S. News to <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.423781/gov.uscourts.cand.423781.1.4.pdf\">answer written questions</a> and <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.423781/gov.uscourts.cand.423781.1.5.pdf\">produce documents</a> pertaining to the rankings and U.S. News’ relationships with various health care providers.</p><p data-block-key=\"4d875\">San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu first demanded answers about the media company’s process for ranking hospitals in a <a href=\"https://www.sfcityattorney.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/2023-06-20-Ltr-to-USNWR-re-Hospital-Rankings.pdf\">letter in June 2023</a>, citing his authority under the California Business and Professions Code to investigate potentially unlawful business practices. Chiu alleged that the rankings had come under scrutiny for what he described as their “poor and opaque methodology.”</p><p data-block-key=\"mt66\">In a <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.423781/gov.uscourts.cand.423781.1.0_1.pdf\">lawsuit</a> filed on Jan. 23, 2024, U.S. News defended its methodology, noting that detailed reports on how the ranking is compiled are published each year. The suit requested protective orders to prevent the city attorney’s office from enforcing the subpoenas and asked that the media company be awarded attorneys fees and costs.</p><p data-block-key=\"fka9e\">“The Subpoenas make clear that the City Attorney is using governmental process to engage in viewpoint discrimination—and, indeed, is proceeding as though he holds censorial (or editorial) authority over how U.S. News performs its journalistic work ranking hospitals,” attorneys for U.S. News wrote. “It is flatly unconstitutional for the City Attorney to harass U.S. News due to his differing views on these rankings; his mounting harassment must be put to a stop.”</p><p data-block-key=\"590cp\">In a statement shared with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, Chiu said it was “ironic” that U.S. News was claiming that its speech has been chilled “when the purpose of the company&#x27;s lawsuit is to chill and impede a legitimate government investigation.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7cuq8\">“Despite U.S. News’ stated commitment to transparency, the company has spent months evading tough questions about its undisclosed financial links to the hospitals it ranks,” Chiu said. “U.S. News is not above the law, and its bullying litigation tactics will not deter us from standing up for patients and consumers.”</p><p data-block-key=\"6r1ff\">In its filing, however, U.S. News stated that it responded to Chiu’s initial letter — explaining its well-documented methodology and raising concerns about the potential infringement of its rights — and did not receive any additional communications from his office for nearly six months.</p><p data-block-key=\"4msm4\">“The City Attorney’s actions pose a fundamental threat to our First Amendment rights and set a dangerous precedent for all media platforms and news organizations,” the lawsuit argues. It added that if Chiu&#x27;s actions are allowed to stand, “any journalistic enterprise that provides analyses or opinions to the public—analyses or opinions that elected officials may wish to fault—may for that reason be subject to subpoena and investigation.”</p><p data-block-key=\"evoe7\">A hearing in the case is scheduled for April 23.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/U.S._News_-_documents.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"lhrkd\">A portion of a subpoena issued to the U.S. News &amp; World Report on Jan. 9, 2024, ordering the news outlet to provide documents concerning its hospital rankings.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": "3:24-cv-00395", "case_type": "CIVIL", "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "subpoena", "legal_order_venue": "State", "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [ "ongoing" ], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "U.S. News & World Report" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Reporter arrested, held overnight while covering NYC pro-Palestinian protest", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/reporter-arrested-held-overnight-while-covering-nyc-pro-palestinian-protest/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-02T20:31:05.320441Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-14T16:11:31.832311Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-14T16:11:31.736523Z", "date": "2023-12-31", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "New York", "longitude": null, "latitude": null, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"4d42k\">Freelance reporter Roni Jacobson was arrested by police while documenting a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City on Dec. 31, 2023. She was held overnight and released the following afternoon after the Manhattan district attorney’s office dropped the charges.</p><p data-block-key=\"5o5l2\">Jacobson told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that she was on assignment for the New York Daily News to cover a protest near Times Square and attempted to pass by a police barricade shortly before 7 p.m. to reach the demonstration. Police allowed other pedestrians to pass, but asked Jacobson to provide identification.</p><p data-block-key=\"daqp7\"><a href=\"https://www.nydailynews.com/2024/01/01/daily-news-reporter-arrested-covering-new-years-eve-protest-midtown-manhattan/\">According to the Daily News</a>, Jacobson identified herself to the New York Police Department officers as a reporter but told them that her request for city-issued press credentials was still pending. The police said she couldn’t pass without a credential and ordered her to back up, Jacobson said, but as she did so another officer arrested her.</p><p data-block-key=\"dhcal\">“I was taking a step back and to the side to be fully out of the way. In fact, I was a moment away from just leaving and going to find another way around because I could tell I wasn’t getting anywhere with these guys,” Jacobson said. “As I was stepping back I bumped into the rookie cop who was behind me and then he had the cuffs on me.”</p><p data-block-key=\"9gj7i\">The Daily News reported that Jacobson contacted a night editor for the outlet who confirmed to police that Jacobson was on assignment.</p><p data-block-key=\"53le9\">Police alleged in a statement to the Daily News that Jacobson “attempted to physically push past the officers in an attempt to gain entry and was then placed under arrest without further incident.” Jacobson denied that version of events. The NYPD did not respond to a request for further information.</p><p data-block-key=\"3gq09\">Jacobson told the Tracker she was held overnight at the Midtown South Precinct and charged with obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. She was released around 4 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2024, when the district attorney declined to prosecute the case.</p><p data-block-key=\"9gkqm\">A spokesperson for the DA’s office told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker said he was unable to comment on the case as it has been sealed, noting that a dismissal is a common reason for sealing a case.</p><p data-block-key=\"413b\">In its report, the Daily News praised the decision to drop the charges, but said it is still seeking answers on why Jacobson was detained in the first place.</p><p data-block-key=\"560ei\">“Freedom of the press to operate freely and unimpeded in coverage of protests is critical for informing the public through our news coverage,” Daily News Executive Editor Andrew Julien said. “We plan on following up with the NYPD to understand what conduct could have justified the arrest.”</p><p data-block-key=\"47u1k\"><i>Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comment from reporter Roni Jacobson.</i></p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/RTSSRFDT.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"n37jp\">Pro-Palestinian demonstrators march in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 28, 2023, one in a series of such protests in New York City during the holiday season. Freelance reporter Roni Jacobson was arrested during a similar protest on Dec. 31.</p>", "arresting_authority": "New York City Police Department", "arrest_status": "arrested and released", "status_of_charges": "charges dropped", "release_date": "2024-01-01", "detention_date": "2023-12-31", "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "New York", "abbreviation": "NY" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [ "Israel-Gaza war", "protest" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [ "obstruction: disorderly conduct", "obstruction: obstructing government administration" ], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Arrest/Criminal Charge" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Roni Jacobson (New York Daily News)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Freelance journalist struck with book at NYC protest against drag story hour", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/freelance-journalist-struck-with-book-at-nyc-protest-against-drag-story-hour/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-20T20:01:38.364444Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-20T20:01:38.364444Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-20T20:01:38.170092Z", "date": "2023-12-16", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "New York", "longitude": null, "latitude": null, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"8jq87\">Freelance journalist Talia Ben-Ora was struck in the head with a book while reporting on a protest outside a drag story hour event in New York City on Dec. 16, 2023.</p><p data-block-key=\"8srci\">Ben-Ora, who also publishes under the name Talia Jane, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that she was reporting on a holiday-themed drag event in Manhattan at around noon, where protesters and “defenders” had gathered. The event took place without issue, she said, but as some of the defenders left, they were chased after by protesters.</p><p data-block-key=\"b3rij\">As Ben-Ora followed the individuals around a corner <a href=\"https://twitter.com/taliaotg/status/1736181196239868154\">while filming on her cellphone</a>, two men turned around, with one taunting her by name and the second advancing toward her, attempting to block her from moving forward.</p><p data-block-key=\"2dadk\">“I said, ‘Get the fuck out of my face.’ And he said, ‘Or what? Or what?’ while getting closer and closer,” she said.</p><p data-block-key=\"3ll7h\">Ben-Ora said that she had been taught in a self-defense class to distract a would-be assailant by knocking off one of their belongings so that she could get to safety while they retrieved it.</p><p data-block-key=\"gkd9\">“I flipped his hat to get it off his head, there was no injury, there was no physical contact,” Ben-Ora said. “He responded by using the book and hitting me across the face with it with all his might.”</p><p data-block-key=\"1bpfg\">Police officers who had witnessed at least the start of the encounter examined Ben-Ora’s injuries — including visible swelling, redness and a wound on her lip — and advised Ben-Ora to file a police report. Ben-Ora said the assailant, Pedro Gutierrez Jimenez, was arrested on a charge of felony assault.</p></div>\n<div class=\"block-tweet\"><div class=\"tweet-embed\">\n <div>\n <blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">A far-right harasser of a Drag Story Hour assaulted me as I was trying to follow a group of defenders being chased by harassers. I got a couple ice packs for the swelling so I’ll be okay. I’m told he’s being transferred to central bookings now.</p>&mdash; Talia Jane ❤️‍🔥 (@taliaotg) <a href=\"https://twitter.com/taliaotg/status/1736112906507321832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">December 16, 2023</a></blockquote>\n<script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"></script>\n\n\n</div>\n\n</div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"8jq87\">Ben-Ora was taken to the same precinct as Gutierrez to provide a statement. While she was there, some individuals connected with him arrived and attempted to film her.</p><p data-block-key=\"fmqrg\">“They provided that footage to their friends, of me sitting on a bench with an ice pack on my face,” Ben-Ora said. She said that during a livestream afterward, multiple individuals said that they should “slit that bitch’s throat” or go to her house to “protest.”</p><p data-block-key=\"doi41\">“These people are violently obsessed with hating me because of my reporting,” Ben-Ora said. “They made explicit threats to harm me and further target me because their guy got arrested for assaulting me. It doesn’t go away because he got arrested.”</p><p data-block-key=\"d3hni\">According to court records reviewed by the Tracker, Gutierrez now faces five charges: three counts of third-degree assault and one count each of second-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree harassment. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2024.</p><p data-block-key=\"c2lsr\">Ben-Ora said there is also a temporary restraining order against him approaching her, which she said is automatic with assault charges.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Ben-Ora_Dec.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"ixsgy\">Freelance journalist Talia Ben-Ora captured this image shortly before being struck across the face with a book by an assailant, pictured above, following demonstrations outside a drag story time in New York, New York, on Dec. 16, 2023.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": "private individual", "was_journalist_targeted": "yes", "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "New York", "abbreviation": "NY" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [ "LGBTQ+ rights", "protest" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Assault" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Talia (Jane) Ben-Ora (Freelance)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Republican House member calls for the jailing of journalists", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/republican-house-member-calls-for-the-jailing-of-journalists/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-21T18:08:07.838214Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-21T18:08:07.838214Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-21T18:07:50.136180Z", "date": "2023-12-15", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Washington", "longitude": -77.03637, "latitude": 38.89511, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"w9eb7\">Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote in a Dec. 15, 2023, social media post that journalists and Democrats should be jailed for the investigations into former President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, joining a chorus of Trump allies calling for the imprisonment of media figures.</p><p data-block-key=\"4qb7n\">“Democrats and their propagandists in the media put America through hell trying to take out President Trump,” Greene <a href=\"https://twitter.com/mtgreenee/status/1735717221249241175\">wrote</a>. “These thugs and criminals need to be held accountable — even jailed — for what they did to Trump and our great country.”</p><p data-block-key=\"4mh4s\">Greene, who <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/23/georgia-marjorie-taylor-greene-donald-trump-vice-president\">told the Guardian</a> in August 2023 that she is “on a list” of potential vice-presidential picks for Trump, has joined other Trump allies in mirroring <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/blog/last-trump-tweet-against-media/\">the rhetoric used by Trump</a> throughout his presidency and current candidacy.</p><p data-block-key=\"1veui\">The New York Times also <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/05/us/politics/trump-kash-patel-journalists.html\">reported</a> that in early December two former top Trump political advisers openly discussed plans to target the press. Kash Patel, a former National Security Council adviser who is expected to serve under a second Trump administration, <a href=\"https://rumble.com/v3zrlia-patel-were-gonna-use-the-constitution-to-prosecute-those-destroying-the-rep.html\">said</a> that a Trump White House would “come after” what he called “conspirators” in the government and media.</p><p data-block-key=\"1quui\">“Whether it’s criminally or civilly, we’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice,” Patel said. “We’re actually going to use the Constitution to prosecute them for crimes they said we have always been guilty of but never have.”</p><p data-block-key=\"5g3m6\">Trump himself has called on the government to <a href=\"https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1729827992744898712\">pursue charges against the media</a> and, in a late-night Nov. 28 post to the social media site Truth Social, accused MSNBC without evidence of baselessly attacking him to interfere with the 2024 election.</p><p data-block-key=\"dvaq6\">The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is collecting and cataloging reports of press freedom aggressions by candidates and their teams running in federal elections in 2024. Find that specialized tracking project <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/blog/politics-and-the-press/\">here</a>.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/RTSQL5VW.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"4p1va\">Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, center, in Washington, D.C., in November 2023, called for the jailing of journalists in a social media post on Dec. 15. Joining a chorus of Donald Trump allies, she referred to the press as “propagandists” and “thugs.”</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "District of Columbia", "abbreviation": "DC" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Media" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Chilling Statement" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Atlanta broadcast photographer held hostage for 90 minutes", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/atlanta-broadcast-photographer-held-hostage-for-90-minutes/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-14T15:59:14.654252Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-14T15:59:14.654252Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-14T15:59:14.469592Z", "date": "2023-12-11", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Jonesboro", "longitude": -84.35381, "latitude": 33.5215, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"2uf78\">WANF television photojournalist Lauren Swaim and reporter Asia Wilson were held hostage for about an hour and a half in the late evening of Dec. 11, 2023, while on assignment in Jonesboro, Georgia. Neither journalist was injured and the man who threatened them was arrested.</p><p data-block-key=\"a7ttf\">Swaim and <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/atlanta-broadcast-reporter-held-hostage-for-90-minutes\">Wilson</a> were preparing to go live from the parking lot of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office shortly before 11 p.m. when a man approached their marked news vehicle, the station <a href=\"https://www.atlantanewsfirst.com/2023/12/12/man-accused-holding-atlanta-news-first-reporter-photojournalist-hostage-arrested/\">reported</a>. The man allegedly said he had a gun and would shoot them if they called for help.</p><p data-block-key=\"37rp6\">Allen Devlin, an anchor at WANF, told the station that the newsroom lost all contact with the journalists until they started receiving surreptitious texts from Wilson at approximately 10:44 p.m. that Devlin called “bone-chilling.”</p><p data-block-key=\"a2bjl\">“It was just things like — sporadic, not even in complete sentences — ‘we need help,’ ‘we’re scared’ and ‘he’s going to shoot,’” he said.</p><p data-block-key=\"crg75\">The newsroom alerted the sheriff’s office and, when they did not receive confirmation of the crew’s safety, called 911.</p><p data-block-key=\"eumld\">Assignment Editor Gary Stilwell said an officer called him back and said that he had spoken with the crew — a man and a woman — and that they were safe. Gary responded that both journalists were women, and asked the officer to go back.</p><p data-block-key=\"ftd15\">As time continued to pass, three WANF employees took it upon themselves to drive the 20 minutes to the sheriff’s office, flagging down a police officer along the way.</p><p data-block-key=\"9aapn\">WANF reported that approximately an hour and a half after Wilson and Swaim were taken hostage, police arrived at the scene and arrested the man, later identified as Brandon R. Logan. Neither journalist was injured and police did not recover a firearm.</p><p data-block-key=\"ech17\">Logan was charged with false imprisonment, simple battery, simple assault, terroristic threats and loitering or prowling, among others. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2024.</p><p data-block-key=\"fa87k\">According to <a href=\"https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/clayton-county/man-arrested-after-holding-atlanta-tv-news-crew-against-their-will/L7FPF4IVLVDYBMJAM3EEAIS5KQ/\">WSB-TV</a>, Logan allegedly shoved one of the station’s employees and attempted to strike the other.</p><p data-block-key=\"9hbb2\">WANF Vice President and General Manager Erik Schrader said the broadcast outlet’s focus is on getting answers on how law enforcement responded.</p><p data-block-key=\"namn\">“What we’re really looking for is to figure out what took so long,” Schrader said. “Where was the breakdown, what caused this to last seemingly a whole lot longer than it needed to last.”</p><p data-block-key=\"30beb\">Neither journalist nor WANF responded to requests for additional comment.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Swaim.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"0vt9p\">Activity around a WANF news vehicle after journalists Lauren Swaim and Asia Wilson were held hostage on Dec. 11, 2023, by a man who approached them outside the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office in Jonesboro, Georgia. Neither journalist was injured.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": "private individual", "was_journalist_targeted": "yes", "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Georgia", "abbreviation": "GA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Assault" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Lauren Swaim (WANF)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Atlanta broadcast reporter held hostage for 90 minutes", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/atlanta-broadcast-reporter-held-hostage-for-90-minutes/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-14T15:59:25.650216Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-14T15:59:25.650216Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-13T22:45:23.777912Z", "date": "2023-12-11", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Jonesboro", "longitude": -84.35381, "latitude": 33.5215, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"ryog5\">WANF television reporter Asia Wilson and photographer Lauren Swaim were held hostage for about an hour and a half in the late evening of Dec. 11, 2023, while on assignment in Jonesboro, Georgia. Neither journalist was injured and the man who threatened them was arrested.</p><p data-block-key=\"1a20q\">Wilson and <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/atlanta-broadcast-photographer-held-hostage-for-90-minutes\">Swaim</a> were preparing to go live from the parking lot of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office shortly before 11 p.m. when a man approached their marked news vehicle, the station <a href=\"https://www.atlantanewsfirst.com/2023/12/12/man-accused-holding-atlanta-news-first-reporter-photojournalist-hostage-arrested/\">reported</a>. The man allegedly said he had a gun and would shoot them if they called for help.</p><p data-block-key=\"c7grv\">Allen Devlin, an anchor at WANF, told the station that the newsroom lost all contact with the journalists until they started receiving surreptitious texts from Wilson at approximately 10:44 p.m. that Devlin called “bone-chilling.”</p><p data-block-key=\"9qfta\">“It was just things like — sporadic, not even in complete sentences — ‘we need help,’ ‘we’re scared’ and ‘he’s going to shoot,’” he said.</p><p data-block-key=\"9hlub\">The newsroom alerted the sheriff’s office and, when they did not receive confirmation of the crew’s safety, called 911.</p><p data-block-key=\"140m8\">Assignment Editor Gary Stilwell said an officer called him back and said that he had spoken with the crew — a man and a woman — and that they were safe. Gary responded that both journalists were women, and asked the officer to go back.</p><p data-block-key=\"2eanv\">As time continued to pass, three WANF employees took it upon themselves to drive the 20 minutes to the sheriff’s office, flagging down a police officer along the way.</p><p data-block-key=\"lc5g\">WANF reported that approximately an hour and a half after Wilson and Swaim were taken hostage, police arrived at the scene and arrested the man, later identified as Brandon R. Logan. Neither journalist was injured and police did not recover a firearm.</p><p data-block-key=\"4iovc\">Logan was charged with false imprisonment, simple battery, simple assault, terroristic threats and loitering or prowling, among others. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2024.</p><p data-block-key=\"6ght8\">According to <a href=\"https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/clayton-county/man-arrested-after-holding-atlanta-tv-news-crew-against-their-will/L7FPF4IVLVDYBMJAM3EEAIS5KQ/\">WSB-TV</a>, Logan allegedly shoved one of the station’s employees and attempted to strike the other.</p><p data-block-key=\"4lskf\">WANF Vice President and General Manager Erik Schrader said the broadcast outlet’s focus is on getting answers on how law enforcement responded.</p><p data-block-key=\"2jh48\">“What we’re really looking for is to figure out what took so long,” Schrader said. “Where was the breakdown, what caused this to last seemingly a whole lot longer than it needed to last.”</p><p data-block-key=\"1eav8\">Neither journalist nor WANF responded to requests for additional comment.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Wilson.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"gcprd\">WANF reporter Asia Wilson, center, and photojournalist Lauren Swaim were held hostage on Dec. 11, 2023, as they prepared to do a live shot in front of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office in Jonesboro, Georgia. Neither journalist was injured.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": "private individual", "was_journalist_targeted": "yes", "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Georgia", "abbreviation": "GA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Assault" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Asia Wilson (WANF)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Vandal throws brick, shattering glass door at Oregon daily", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/vandal-throws-brick-shattering-glass-door-at-oregon-daily/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-21T22:07:35.696923Z", "last_published_at": "2024-01-30T15:45:58.924928Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-01-30T15:45:58.828091Z", "date": "2023-12-08", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Grants Pass", "longitude": -123.33067, "latitude": 42.43933, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"32nkn\">The Grants Pass Daily Courier newsroom in Oregon was vandalized on Dec. 8, 2023, when an unknown person threw a brick — marked with a vulgar message naming a member of the newsroom — through the glass entrance doors to the building.</p><p data-block-key=\"9gl61\">The Courier <a href=\"https://twitter.com/scottstoddard/status/1733967636592243152/photo/1\">reported</a> that an employee was working in the building when at around 10:45 p.m. they heard a loud bang and shattering glass. The employee called 911 and police found that a brick had smashed through one of the front doors, as well as a separate glass pane in the vestibule.</p><p data-block-key=\"8hkva\">Courier Editor Scott Stoddard told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that the attack caused approximately $1,500 in damage to the building, which the newspaper has occupied for nearly 75 years. Police are still investigating the vandalism.</p><p data-block-key=\"d5ro\">The newspaper is not releasing the details of the message or the name of the journalist in order to avoid further targeting, Stoddard said. He added that staff had met to review safe locations and exits, in case of a future attack.</p><p data-block-key=\"40am9\">“We are not a sleepy newspaper, we cover local topics aggressively,” he told the Tracker. “There are multiple factions in town that are not happy with the paper because of the level of reporting we do.”</p><p data-block-key=\"degvc\">The Courier also quoted Stoddard as saying, “I want to assure our readers that we are not going to be silenced by anyone who tries to intimidate us or infringe on the press freedoms that are guaranteed by the First Amendment.”</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Grants_Pass_Daily_Courier.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"me1ka\">A brick was thrown through the front doors of the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Oregon on Dec. 8, 2023. A vulgar message directed at a specific Courier journalist was scrawled on the brick, which caused approximately $1,500 in damage.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": "private individual", "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [ { "quantity": 1, "equipment": "building" } ], "state": { "name": "Oregon", "abbreviation": "OR" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Equipment Damage" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Unidentified journalist 10 (Grants Pass Daily Courier)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Colorado newspaper wins access to recording of closed city council session", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/colorado-newspaper-wins-access-to-recording-of-closed-city-council-session/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-21T20:51:14.954098Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-21T20:51:14.954098Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-21T20:51:14.878153Z", "date": "2023-12-07", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Aurora", "longitude": -104.83192, "latitude": 39.72943, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"oye25\">The Sentinel Colorado newspaper is entitled to a recording of a closed Aurora City Council meeting that the council had earlier refused to release, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on Dec. 7, 2023.</p><p data-block-key=\"fr1k6\">The city council held the closed meeting on March 14, 2022, to discuss whether to censure Council member Danielle Jurinsky for violating the city charter and the council’s rules of order, after Jurinsky criticized the city’s police chief on a talk radio show, calling her “trash,” the Sentinel <a href=\"https://sentinelcolorado.com/metro/city-of-aurora-confirms-closed-door-council-decision-to-end-censure-of-jurinsky/\">reported</a>. The council voted at the session not to censure Jurinsky.</p><p data-block-key=\"avolg\">The Sentinel <a href=\"https://sentinelcolorado.com/metro/sentinel-colorado-threatens-lawsuit-against-aurora-demanding-private-censure-discussion-recording-be-made-public/\">reported</a> that reporter Max Levy filed a records request for a recording of the session on March 18. The city clerk denied the request on March 22, claiming that because an outside law firm hired by the council was present to advise on the investigation into Jurinsky’s conduct, the session involved “privileged attorney/client communication” and was therefore “exempt from disclosure.”</p><p data-block-key=\"98dc\">The Sentinel, represented by Rachael Johnson of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, sued the clerk, <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/litigation/the-sentinel-colorado-v-rodriguez/\">arguing</a> that the city violated Colorado’s Open Meetings Law by secretly voting on Jurinsky’s censure and without advance public notice about the nature of the session.</p><p data-block-key=\"4fo3b\">A district court reviewed the recording and ordered the city council to turn it over to the Sentinel, then reversed its decision at the request of the city council, ruling that the council had undone its violation of the Open Meetings Law by holding a regular meeting to discuss the censure on March 28.</p><p data-block-key=\"9mobm\">The Sentinel appealed, and the Colorado Court of Appeals ultimately <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2023-12-07-Sentinel-Colorado-v.-Rodriguez-Opinion.pdf\">reversed</a> the district court’s decision, agreeing with the newspaper that the city council had violated the Open Meetings Law and ordering the city council to release the recording.</p><p data-block-key=\"6hfp3\">The city can still decide to appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court, the Sentinel <a href=\"https://sentinelcolorado.com/metro/appeals-court-aurora-council-illegally-blocked-censure-of-member-in-closed-door-meeting/\">reported</a>.</p><p data-block-key=\"dgn3t\">“We’re pleased that the Court of Appeals saw this executive session for what it was: an unlawful meeting that prevented the community from observing the city council as it conducted the public’s business,” RCFP attorney Rachael Johnson <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/aurora-council-open-meetings-law/\">said</a>. “The Sentinel looks forward to the release of the recording.”</p><p data-block-key=\"a3mqb\">Levy and Sentinel publisher and editor Dave Perry did not respond to emailed requests for comment.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": null, "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Colorado", "abbreviation": "CO" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Sentinel Colorado" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Other Incident" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Top state legal officers warn outlets against giving ‘material support’ to Hamas", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/top-state-legal-officers-warn-outlets-against-giving-material-support-to-hamas/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-08T19:26:07.869950Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-14T16:11:44.573800Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-14T16:11:44.488501Z", "date": "2023-12-04", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Multiple", "longitude": null, "latitude": null, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"z2ztp\">Over a dozen Republican state attorneys general sent a letter on Dec. 4, 2023, to the heads of The Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times and Reuters warning them that employing allegedly Hamas-affiliated freelancers would be a state and federal crime.</p><p data-block-key=\"2b1u0\">Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird was joined by her counterparts in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.</p><p data-block-key=\"8bc1i\">“We, the chief legal officers of our respective States, also remind you that providing material support to terrorists and terror organizations is a crime,” the <a href=\"https://www.scribd.com/document/689965095/States-Material-Support-Letter\">letter read</a>.</p><p data-block-key=\"etp5v\">The letter cited “reports” alleging that the outlets had employed freelance journalists who had ties to the armed Palestinian militant group and prior knowledge of its Oct. 7 attack against Israel as the basis for the accusations, but only included a hyperlink to <a href=\"https://apnews.com/article/israel-hamas-photographers-attack-200be1ba47361f1c1fc113cdaeb65d04\">since-debunked</a> claims pushed by pro-Israel watchdog group HonestReporting.</p><p data-block-key=\"3i970\">The attorneys general wrote that hiring stringers, correspondents, contractors or other employees with connections to Hamas is a means of funding terrorists, and asserted that the outlets have a “long record of paying terrorists and possible terrorists for their work.”</p><p data-block-key=\"6p26j\">The letter also highlighted that “material support” for terrorist groups — both a federal and state crime — can include “writing and distributing publications supporting the organization.” It did not elaborate on what would be considered support, potentially chilling any reporting that does not unequivocally condemn Hamas or unilaterally support Israel.</p><p data-block-key=\"3st4c\">The attorneys general urged the outlets to reevaluate hiring practices and warned that they would be watching.</p><p data-block-key=\"dvo0i\">“We will continue to follow your reporting to ensure that your organizations do not violate any federal or State laws by giving material support to terrorists abroad,” the letter stated. “Now your organizations are on notice. Follow the law.”</p><p data-block-key=\"3jud7\">Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, also alluded to HonestReporting’s claims in a Nov. 9 letter <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/senator-calls-on-justice-department-to-investigate-news-outlets/\">calling on the U.S. Justice Department</a> to open a national security investigation into the news outlets.</p><p data-block-key=\"7ph1t\">Similarly, a group of a dozen House Republicans, joined by two Democrats, sent a letter to Reuters citing the claims on <a href=\"https://www.nationalreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Lawler-Letter-to-Reuters.pdf\">Nov. 21</a>, and asked the outlet how its freelancers became aware of the Oct. 7 attack and whether the journalists or Reuters had prior knowledge of the planned assault.</p><p data-block-key=\"8deef\">On Dec. 7, a group of 15 House Republicans <a href=\"https://files.constantcontact.com/647991c4801/5d2e36eb-8332-453f-a8a1-a25e1af8951f.pdf?rdr=true\">sent their own letter</a> to the AP, CNN, the Times and Reuters citing the claims. The letter asked that the media organizations provide detailed information on each of the six journalists identified by HonestReporting — including their nationalities and employment status — as well as communications, phone logs and financial records between the freelancers and the outlets prior to and since Oct. 7.</p><p data-block-key=\"7tvor\">The four news outlets previously <a href=\"https://www.thewrap.com/news-outlets-deny-hamas-attacks-advance-knowledge-gaza-photojournalists/\">denied</a> having any prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 attack and defended their reporting. The Times stood by its decision to work with freelancer Yousef Masoud, <a href=\"https://www.nytco.com/press/statement-on-yousef-masoud/\">stating</a> that there was no basis for HonestReporting’s claims. However, CNN and the AP suspended their relationship with freelance photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/09/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-hamas-photographers.html\">according to the Times</a>. Eslaiah told the outlet that he had no prior knowledge of the attack and had no ties to Hamas.</p><p data-block-key=\"5fuu6\">Freedom of the Press Foundation, which oversees the operation of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, <a href=\"https://freedom.press/news/disinformation-campaign-puts-journalists-lives-at-risk-in-gaza/\">characterized</a> HonestReporting’s claims as a “malicious disinformation campaign” that endangers the lives of journalists covering the war.</p><p data-block-key=\"1m4rp\">“It’s a virtual certainty that, despite HonestReporting’s about-face, its nonsense report will be cited to justify past and future attacks against journalists in what’s already by far the deadliest war for the press in modern memory,” FPF Advocacy Director Seth Stern wrote.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/RTSPN3XC.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"qj3gg\">Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, center, led a coalition of state attorneys general in a Dec. 4, 2023, letter putting four news outlets “on notice” that employing allegedly Hamas-affiliated freelancers constitutes “material support” for terrorists.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": null, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "CNN", "Reuters", "The Associated Press", "The New York Times" ], "tags": [ "Israel-Gaza war" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Chilling Statement" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Newsmax ordered to turn over journalists’ texts in Dominion defamation suit", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/newsmax-ordered-to-turn-over-journalists-texts-in-dominion-defamation-suit/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-08T21:25:34.957682Z", "last_published_at": "2024-01-08T21:30:19.401428Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-01-08T21:30:19.320166Z", "date": "2023-12-01", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Wilmington", "longitude": -75.54659, "latitude": 39.74595, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"te9nv\">Newsmax was ordered on Dec. 1, 2023, to turn over its journalists’ personal texts and other electronic communications, as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ ongoing defamation suit against the conservative news network.</p><p data-block-key=\"evr65\">Dominion filed the $1.6 billion lawsuit in 2021, <a href=\"https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/rcna128179\">alleging</a> that Newsmax defamed the voting machine company when the news outlet falsely claimed that Dominion had rigged the 2020 presidential election.</p><p data-block-key=\"4mm5o\">According to court records reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, one of Dominion’s early discovery requests was for all documents and communications concerning mentions of the company on Newsmax since November 2018. Newsmax objected to the request, stating in part that it would violate multiple states’ constitutional free speech protections and reporter’s privilege laws.</p><p data-block-key=\"141jf\">In August 2023, Dominion filed a motion to compel Newsmax to review and turn over texts and other non-email communications of current employees, including those on the employees’ personal devices.</p><p data-block-key=\"a3r8c\">“This is not a case where a bright line separates business-related and personal documents,” Dominion argued. “One of the central issues is whether any of Newsmax’s media professionals expressed, behind the scenes, disbelief about the election-related lies the network was airing publicly.”</p><p data-block-key=\"btrr6\">Newsmax objected to the request, arguing in court filings that it had already searched records and communications that were “in furtherance of Newsmax business,” as ordered by a special master in the parallel <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/legal/judge-rejects-newsmaxs-bid-dismiss-smartmatic-lawsuit-over-2020-election-2023-08-23/\">Smartmatic litigation</a>. It added that it was only able to do so because employees had cooperated voluntarily once they were assured that their private data would not be collected, reviewed or produced.</p><p data-block-key=\"bhneg\">The news network added that it has no custody or control over its employees’ personal devices, and lacks the “legal right or practical ability to demand employees turn over such devices.”</p><p data-block-key=\"3a2d8\">Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis overruled Newsmax’s arguments on Dec. 1, ordering the news network to produce the private communications.</p><p data-block-key=\"f60ds\">In a statement emailed to the Tracker, Newsmax said it is examining its options in light of the judge’s ruling.</p><p data-block-key=\"7kcos\">“Newsmax remains deeply concerned about the chilling effect that this litigation is having and will continue to have on the freedom of the press and how it covers largely live news events and controversies,” the statement said.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Smartmatic.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"glqn0\">A portion of the order issued Dec. 1, 2023, ordering Newsmax to produce its journalists’ personal texts and other electronic communications as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the company.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "other", "legal_order_venue": "State", "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Delaware", "abbreviation": "DE" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Newsmax Media" ], "tags": [ "election", "Election 2020" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Texas attorney general subpoenas Media Matters after report on X", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/texas-attorney-general-subpoenas-media-matters-after-report-on-x/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-05T17:51:11.548738Z", "last_published_at": "2024-04-18T16:38:22.327564Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-04-18T16:38:22.127456Z", "date": "2023-12-01", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Austin", "longitude": -97.74306, "latitude": 30.26715, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"v2hy6\">Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Dec. 1, 2023, demanded that Media Matters for America turn over what the media watchdog called a “sweeping array” of materials related to its reporting, according to court documents reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.</p><p data-block-key=\"86h60\">Media Matters <a href=\"https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/media-matters-elon-musk-texas-attorney-general-ken-paxton-rcna129402\">sued</a> on Dec. 11 to block the “civil investigative demand,” an administrative subpoena that is part of a <a href=\"https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/attorney-general-ken-paxton-opens-investigation-media-matters-potential-fraudulent-activity\">probe</a> launched Nov. 20 by Paxton into what his office characterized as “potential fraudulent activity” under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.</p><p data-block-key=\"4ecgt\">The probe followed the Nov. 16 publication of a Media Matters <a href=\"https://www.mediamatters.org/twitter/musk-endorses-antisemitic-conspiracy-theory-x-has-been-placing-ads-apple-bravo-ibm-oracle\">report</a> that found advertisements for major brands appeared next to pro-Nazi posts on X, formerly known as Twitter. <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/17/technology/elon-musk-twitter-x-advertisers.html\">Several</a> major companies <a href=\"https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/17/23965928/apple-x-ads-elon-musk-antisemitic-posts\">paused</a> their advertising on the platform shortly after the report and following a post on X by owner Elon Musk that appeared to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy theory.</p><p data-block-key=\"apfj\">Paxton, a Republican, said he was “extremely troubled” by allegations that the progressive, Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit had manipulated data on X. “We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” he added.</p><p data-block-key=\"5108u\">The allegations of data manipulation were contained in a Nov. 20 <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.txnd.383454/gov.uscourts.txnd.383454.1.0_1.pdf\">lawsuit</a> filed by X against Media Matters and senior investigative reporter Eric Hananoki in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. X’s suit alleged that the group and Hananoki, who wrote the story, manipulated the platform’s algorithms to produce feeds in which advertisers’ posts appeared next to pro-Nazi content, with the intent of harming X’s relationship with advertisers.</p><p data-block-key=\"ectch\">The suit sought unspecified damages and asked a judge to order Media Matters to remove the report from its website and social media accounts.</p><p data-block-key=\"e33sq\">Media Matters President Angelo Carusone, in a <a href=\"https://twitter.com/GoAngelo/status/1726800683263771051?s=20\">statement</a> after Musk filed the suit, said, “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting.”</p><p data-block-key=\"6t7md\">In its suit against Paxton, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, where Hananoki lives and works, Media Matters said that the Texas attorney general demanded “a sweeping array of materials from Media Matters and Hananoki, including documents and communications about their research and reporting.”</p><p data-block-key=\"8gkam\">The suit called the investigation “retaliatory” and an “extraordinarily invasive intrusion into Plaintiffs’ news gathering and reporting activities [that] is plainly intended to chill those activities.”</p><p data-block-key=\"ehhru\">Media Matters accused Paxton of violating the plaintiffs’ First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights, as well as its rights under reporters shield laws in <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/privilege-compendium/maryland/\">Maryland</a> and <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/privilege-compendium/district-of-columbia/\">Washington, D.C.</a>, and asked the court to permanently block the investigation.</p><p data-block-key=\"dluvv\">Carusone, in a Dec. 17 <a href=\"https://www.mediamatters.org/angelo-carusone/msnbc-angelo-carusone-discusses-how-free-speech-line-media-matters-lawsuit-against\">interview</a> with MSNBC about the suit against Paxton, said, “In some respects, it was really our only path because the alternative would be to do nothing and have him continue to barrel ahead with this investigation, which he says could be both civil and criminal.”</p><p data-block-key=\"3nr1e\">Carusone told the Tracker in a phone interview that Paxton’s investigation added a “layer of unpredictability” in terms of “what could be exposed and what information somebody could get access to, and the process for that.” He added that the probe “leads to a culture, internally, of self-censoring.”</p><p data-block-key=\"38beo\">Paxton’s office did not reply to an emailed request for updates on the investigation.</p><p data-block-key=\"4pjd6\">Meanwhile, on Dec. 11, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey opened his own investigation into Media Matters. In a <a href=\"https://ago.mo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023.12.11-Notice-of-Investigation-MMFA-Final.pdf\">letter to the watchdog group</a>, he alleged that it appeared to have used the “coordinated, inauthentic activity” described in X’s lawsuit “to solicit charitable donations from consumers,” and that his office would look into whether this violated Missouri’s consumer protection laws, “including laws that prohibit nonprofit entities from soliciting funds under false pretenses.” Bailey instructed the group to preserve all records related to the case.</p><p data-block-key=\"ds65a\">Three days later, Bailey <a href=\"https://ago.mo.gov/attorney-general-bailey-directs-letter-to-advertisers-amidst-media-matters-investigation/\">announced</a> that he and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry had sent letters to several major companies that paused their advertising on X, including Disney, IBM and Sony, informing them of the investigation into Media Matters.</p><p data-block-key=\"d21k8\">Bailey’s office told the Tracker in a Jan. 4, 2024, email that there were no further updates in the investigation.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/RTSA6HKR.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"cs5p8\">Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seen at an August 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, subpoenaed watchdog Media Matters on Dec. 1, 2023, after the group reported on the social platform X.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": "1:24-cv-00147", "case_type": "CIVIL", "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "other", "legal_order_venue": "State", "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Texas", "abbreviation": "TX" }, "updates": [ "(2024-04-12 00:00:00+00:00) Media Matters wins injunction against Texas attorney general" ], "case_statuses": [ "ongoing" ], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Media Matters for America" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order", "Chilling Statement" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Arizona radio reporter arrested at pro-Palestinian protest in Tucson", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/arizona-radio-reporter-arrested-at-pro-palestinian-protest-in-tucson/", "first_published_at": "2023-11-30T22:23:12.620924Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-14T16:11:17.418790Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-14T16:11:17.314007Z", "date": "2023-11-30", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Tucson", "longitude": -110.92648, "latitude": 32.22174, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"fn4zl\">KJZZ radio reporter Alisa Reznick was arrested and charged with criminal trespass while reporting on a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Tucson, Arizona, on the morning of Nov. 30, 2023.</p><p data-block-key=\"ei2pc\">The Arizona Republic <a href=\"https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2023/11/30/deputies-detain-kjzz-reporter-raytheon-protest-in-tucson/71754739007/\">reported</a> that Reznick was among 26 arrested as demonstrators gathered at a University of Arizona satellite campus where weapons manufacturer Raytheon is housed. Approximately 60 protesters blockaded the entrance to the facility, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/UR_Ninja/status/1730259721347838423\">according to Unicorn Riot</a>.</p><p data-block-key=\"eerde\">In <a href=\"https://twitter.com/UR_Ninja/status/1730285671980659137\">footage</a> captured by Unicorn Riot, Reznick, who is a senior field correspondent for KJZZ’s Fronteras Desk and the NPR network, can be heard identifying herself as a journalist and telling a Pima County Sheriff’s deputy that she was walking to her vehicle nearby.</p></div>\n<div class=\"block-tweet\"><div class=\"tweet-embed\">\n <div>\n <blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">After clearing protesters from blocking UA Tech/Raytheon&#39;s entrance road, Pima County Sheriffs also insisted on also arresting <a href=\"https://twitter.com/kjzzphoenix?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@kjzzphoenix</a> journalist <a href=\"https://twitter.com/AlisaReznick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@AlisaReznick</a> despite Reznick clearly carrying media equipment and repeatedly identifying herself as press. <a href=\"https://t.co/XJWf6tTCWW\">pic.twitter.com/XJWf6tTCWW</a></p>&mdash; UNICORN RIOT (@UR_Ninja) <a href=\"https://twitter.com/UR_Ninja/status/1730285671980659137?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">November 30, 2023</a></blockquote>\n<script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"></script>\n\n\n</div>\n\n</div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"fn4zl\">“I&#x27;m a reporter,” Reznick said, with a press credential around her neck, recording equipment in her hand and a camera hanging from her shoulder.</p><p data-block-key=\"897k9\">The deputy, while holding her by the arm and wrist, responded, “And you&#x27;re under arrest.” When she repeated that she was attempting to return to her car and leave, he responded, “You had plenty of time to go to your car and you haven’t.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7ks3k\">The deputy allowed a nearby reporter from Unicorn Riot to take her equipment, saying that he didn’t want to break it.</p><p data-block-key=\"92u7r\">A public information officer for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that Reznick was charged with criminal trespass, as were 25 demonstrators.</p><p data-block-key=\"31kls\">“That journalist was arrested in the same fashion as the demonstrators,” the officer said. “They were on private property, they were requested to leave and they failed to comply.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7ujj0\">Neither Reznick nor KJZZ was immediately available for comment. Michel Marizco, senior editor of KJZZ&#x27;s Fronteras Desk, told The Arizona Republic that Reznick was released after several hours and was in “strong spirits.”</p><p data-block-key=\"3rhho\">“We are continuing to seek clarity from the sheriff’s department on the circumstances of this incident where a clearly identified journalist was in the course of reporting the news,&quot; Marizco said.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Reznick.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"05tnr\">KJZZ senior field correspondent Alisa Reznick was arrested for criminal trespass on Nov. 30, 2023, while reporting on a pro-Palestinian protest at a University of Arizona satellite campus in Tucson.</p>", "arresting_authority": "Pima County Sheriff's Department", "arrest_status": "arrested and released", "status_of_charges": "charges pending", "release_date": "2023-11-30", "detention_date": "2023-11-30", "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Arizona", "abbreviation": "AZ" }, "updates": [ "(2023-12-21 15:09:00+00:00) Charges dropped against radio reporter arrested at Tucson protest" ], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [ "Israel-Gaza war", "protest" ], "current_charges": [ "trespassing: criminal trespass" ], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Arrest/Criminal Charge" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Alisa Reznick (KJZZ)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Colorado reporter ignores order to return, destroy legally obtained court filings", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/colorado-reporter-ignores-order-to-return-destroy-legally-obtained-court-filings/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-12T19:52:10.707685Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-12T19:52:10.707685Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-12T19:52:10.577887Z", "date": "2023-11-30", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Denver", "longitude": -104.9847, "latitude": 39.73915, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"8qae1\">BusinessDen reporter Justin Wingerter, who covers courts and white-collar crime for the local business news site, was ordered on Nov. 30, 2023, to return or delete all copies of legal filings he had obtained from a court in Denver, Colorado. He ignored the order and on Dec. 4 <a href=\"https://businessden.com/2023/12/04/seven-years-after-21m-sale-founders-of-sports-recruiting-startup-sue-buyer/\">published</a> an article with details about the underlying case containing information he obtained from the court filings.</p><p data-block-key=\"8492v\">Wingerter told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he had been reviewing recently filed lawsuits on Nov. 28 when he noticed something unusual: a <a href=\"https://businessden.com/2023/12/04/seven-years-after-21m-sale-founders-of-sports-recruiting-startup-sue-buyer/\">civil case</a> with a pending motion for it to be “suppressed,” more commonly referred to as sealed. He then requested records from the case.</p><p data-block-key=\"29vbg\">“I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get the documents,” Wingerter said. “The nature of a records request is you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get back, but you make the request because you’d rather be told ‘no’ than to not file it at all.”</p><p data-block-key=\"8aedt\">A clerk of the court later called to notify him that the request had been granted, and, after paying 25 cents per page over the phone, Wingerter received the files via email the following morning, Nov. 29.</p><p data-block-key=\"64fd\">That same evening, however, District Judge Kandace Cecilia Gerdes granted the plaintiff’s motion to suppress. When Gerdes learned that Wingerter had obtained the records before they were sealed, she <a href=\"https://coloradofoic.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Order.pdf\">issued a second order</a> on Nov. 30 that read:</p></div>\n<div class=\"block-blockquote\">\n\n<blockquote class=\"blockquote\" >\n\t<div class=\"rich-text\"><p data-block-key=\"5bkre\">“The Court hereby orders that all documents obtained by any media outlet, including by not limited to those obtained by Justin Wingerter of BusinessDen, shall be returned to the Court by hand-delivery, specifically Courtroom 275 … by 4:00 p.m., on November 30, 2023. All electronic copies of said documents shall be permanently deleted from servers as well. Failure to do so will be considered contempt of this Court’s Order.”</p></div>\n\t\n</blockquote>\n</div>\n<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"8qae1\">The order further stipulated that any subsequent attempts to access copies of the filings without Gerdes’ written permission would also be considered contempt of court.</p><p data-block-key=\"687u6\">Shortly after the order was issued, Wingerter said the clerk of the court alerted him to the order and told him that he was expected to comply.</p><p data-block-key=\"f8g7v\">Ashley Kissinger, an attorney representing Wingerter and BusinessDen, <a href=\"https://coloradofoic.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/DB6417AD8F7D5.pdf\">filed a motion</a> on Dec. 1 notifying the court that her clients would not be complying and arguing that the order constituted a “classic prior restraint.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7gojf\">“Mr. Wingerter obtained access to these court records simply by asking the Court for them. He submitted an open records request to the Court through an online form,” Kissinger wrote. “This is ordinary, lawful, newsgathering activity.”</p><p data-block-key=\"f42qa\">Wingerter told the Tracker that, after discussing it internally, BusinessDen decided to push ahead with his coverage.</p><p data-block-key=\"b8vbg\">“We don’t feel that the judge has the power of prior restraint,” Wingerter said. “So we didn’t see any reason to stop the reporting process. We just continued doing our jobs.”</p><p data-block-key=\"3s2e6\">The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of Colorado media organizations sent a letter on Dec. 11 to Gerdes in support of Kissinger’s motion.</p><p data-block-key=\"1nac3\">“Because each minute an unconstitutional prior restraint remains in place constitutes a separate and distinct First Amendment violation causing ‘irreparable harm’ to BusinessDen and its readers, we urge the Court to lift its prior restraint order immediately,” the letter read.</p><p data-block-key=\"e0n0i\">Kissinger told the Tracker that nothing has been filed in the case since, but that she believes the parties to the underlying case have until Dec. 22 to respond to her motion to vacate the prior restraint.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Wingerter.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"9bwwn\">A portion of the Nov. 30, 2023, court order requiring BusinessDen reporter Justin Wingerter to return or permanently delete filings he legally obtained through a records request. His attorney asserts the order is “a classic prior restraint.”</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": "ignored", "mistakenly_released_materials": true, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Colorado", "abbreviation": "CO" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Prior Restraint" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Justin Wingerter (BusinessDen)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "California journalist barred from press conference with district attorney", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/california-journalist-barred-from-press-conference-with-district-attorney/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-13T22:28:17.348484Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-14T18:55:39.462192Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-14T18:55:39.301641Z", "date": "2023-11-29", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Berkeley", "longitude": -122.27275, "latitude": 37.87159, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"uyhqm\">Journalist Emilie Raguso, who operates the crime and safety news site The Berkeley Scanner, was barred from attending a press conference on Nov. 29, 2023, with Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. Three days later, the DA’s office announced that Raguso’s exclusion from the media list was an “oversight” and that she was “welcome” at future press events.</p><p data-block-key=\"5dauu\">Raguso told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that though she launched The Scanner in 2022, she has covered crime and courts for more than a decade. But after she published an article in January including criticisms of Price, her office made it clear that it was displeased with Raguso’s coverage.</p><p data-block-key=\"4b08\">Raguso said that she was one of the few journalists who attended Price’s first press conference in March, and that everything had seemed to go normally.</p><p data-block-key=\"8mkij\">“Afterward, people started getting in touch with me, saying, ‘She wanted to throw you out of that press conference,’” Raguso said, adding that she believed it was because of her prior reporting. “Fortunately some people who worked for her at the time were able to convince her that that was not appropriate.”</p><p data-block-key=\"5ko18\">Throughout the summer, Raguso said she was <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/california-journalist-restored-to-district-attorneys-media-list\">removed from the DA’s media list</a> multiple times, but was readded when she raised the issue. In October, she was told that the list — and her request to be included — was under review.</p><p data-block-key=\"7fut0\">When Raguso learned from other journalists that Price was to hold a press conference on the morning of Nov. 29, she planned to attend.</p><p data-block-key=\"bf270\">“I thought there was a possibility they wouldn’t let me in, but I didn’t think it was a strong possibility because they don’t have a legal reason to do that,” Raguso said.</p><p data-block-key=\"580c4\">When Raguso arrived at the press conference, she was barred at the door due to unspecified “safety issues.” Raguso said that two individuals from the DA’s office recognized her as press but said that her credentials provided by the Oakland Police Department were insufficient. She added that nearly half a dozen other journalists were allowed in that day without being asked to show their credentials, and some without even signing a check-in sheet.</p></div>\n<div class=\"block-tweet\"><div class=\"tweet-embed\">\n <div>\n <blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">I was just turned away from an announced press conference with elected <a href=\"https://twitter.com/AlamedaCountyDA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@AlamedaCountyDA</a> Pamela Price. Every other member of the media who came was let in without any checking of credentials. <a href=\"https://twitter.com/FACoalition?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@FACoalition</a> <a href=\"https://twitter.com/rcfp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@rcfp</a> <a href=\"https://twitter.com/SPJ_NorCal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">@SPJ_NorCal</a> <a href=\"https://t.co/GInIcGHlpM\">pic.twitter.com/GInIcGHlpM</a></p>&mdash; The Berkeley Scanner (@BerkeleyScanner) <a href=\"https://twitter.com/BerkeleyScanner/status/1729941721923121526?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">November 29, 2023</a></blockquote>\n<script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"></script>\n\n\n</div>\n\n</div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"uyhqm\">When Raguso saw Price exiting an elevator, she petitioned the district attorney directly to intervene and allow her to attend the press conference, but Price declined to do so.</p><p data-block-key=\"811si\">A statement released by Price’s office the following day referred to Raguso as an “uninvited person” and The Scanner as simply a “blog.” It also asserted that the employees were enforcing credentialing standards that are “long-standing and predate the election of District Attorney Pamela Price.”</p><p data-block-key=\"80tbd\">Following <a href=\"https://www.berkeleyscanner.com/2023/12/01/editors-desk/pamela-price-alameda-county-das-office-first-amendment/\">public outcry</a> — including a <a href=\"https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-11-30-DA-Price-re-Free-Press.pdf\">letter</a> penned by the First Amendment Coalition — Price’s office on Dec. 2 released a statement that Raguso would be added back to the media list and allowed to attend future press conferences. It said that Raguso’s removal from the media list, as well as that of local news website the Bay City News, had been an “oversight.”</p><p data-block-key=\"d7adv\">The statement also noted that Price would be leading an effort to establish new media guidelines, saying that “this critical work is long overdue.” Price’s office did not respond to an emailed request for comment.</p><p data-block-key=\"299f\">Raguso told the Tracker that the main concern now is how the DA’s office will handle other reporters’ access moving forward. “Will people need to provide a credential? Or will people need to be on your email list to come to your press events? I asked that and they haven’t answered,” Raguso said.</p><p data-block-key=\"9j95i\">She added that she thinks the DA’s office could retaliate against her in this way because the Scanner is a one-person operation.</p><p data-block-key=\"3bifi\">“But they didn’t realize that there are so many people in the journalism world and in the First Amendment world and in the broader community who believe strongly in the First Amendment,” Raguso said, “and who understand that the government does not get to define and decide who gets to report the news.”</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Raguso_2.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"qp10m\">Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price&#x27;s office barred journalist Emilie Raguso from her Nov. 29, 2023, press conference citing “security concerns.” Price later announced that Raguso could attend future press events.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [ "Law enforcement: Prosecutors" ], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Denial of Access" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Emilie Raguso (The Berkeley Scanner)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [ "Government event" ] }, { "title": "Illinois watchdog blog subpoenaed in defamation case; subpoena later withdrawn", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/illinois-watchdog-blog-subpoenaed-in-defamation-case-subpoena-later-withdrawn/", "first_published_at": "2023-12-21T16:14:03.699999Z", "last_published_at": "2023-12-21T16:14:03.699999Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2023-12-21T16:14:03.612171Z", "date": "2023-11-28", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Belleville", "longitude": -89.98399, "latitude": 38.52005, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"fea2v\">Illinois-based blog Edgar County Watchdogs was subpoenaed on Nov. 28, 2023, for testimony and communications about the parties to a civil defamation case, but the subpoena was subsequently withdrawn on Dec. 20.</p><p data-block-key=\"2ovut\">The <a href=\"https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/20231213_120925.pdf\">subpoena</a> had been filed with the 20th Circuit Court in St. Clair County by Gerard Scott Jr., the plaintiff in the defamation case. It ordered a representative from the Edgar County Watchdogs, which is based in St. Clair County outside St. Louis, to testify on Jan. 3, 2024, and to bring all written correspondence related to the suit to the hearing.</p><p data-block-key=\"9v31s\">Edgar County Watchdogs <a href=\"https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2023/12/county-board-member-sued-foia-requester-wants-names-of-village-trustees-who-provided-information/\">reported</a> that Scott, a Village of Caseyville employee and St. Clair County board member, filed the suit against researcher and blogger Bradley VanHoose.</p><p data-block-key=\"a233f\">VanHoose had sought information about an invoice paid by the village for an automobile repair via Freedom of Information Act requests and by asking questions of local officials. VanHoose later informed Edgar County Watchdogs that he believed an employee of the village had used taxpayer funds for repairs on a privately owned vehicle, according to the blog.</p><p data-block-key=\"akrkh\">Edgar County Watchdogs co-founder and reporter John Kraft initially told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that it would seek to quash the subpoena under the <a href=\"https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=073500050HArt%2E+VIII+Pt%2E+9&amp;ActID=2017&amp;ChapterID=56&amp;SeqStart=57600000&amp;SeqEnd=58600000\">Illinois Reporter’s Privilege Act</a>, which <a href=\"https://www.rcfp.org/privilege-compendium/illinois/#:~:text=The%20Illinois%20Reporter&#x27;s%20Privilege%20Statute,either%20that%20%E2%80%9Cdisclosure%20of%20the\">protects</a> reporters’ sources from compelled disclosure.</p><p data-block-key=\"cg7qu\">Before that motion could be filed, the two parties agreed that the subpoena would be withdrawn, Kraft and the plaintiff’s attorney, Douglas Stewart, told the Tracker. Stewart, in an email to Kraft, wrote, “I believe that the information that I seek is readily available from others.”</p><p data-block-key=\"8cmrc\">The subpoena was withdrawn during a Dec. 20 hearing, the blog reported.</p><p data-block-key=\"6r1ci\">The Tracker has documented <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/?search=%22edgar%20county%20watchdogs%22%20subpoena\">multiple other subpoenas</a> against Edgar County Watchdogs, most recently in 2020.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Edgar_County_Watchdogs_subpoena.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"e5lu3\">A portion of the subpoena demanding Edgar County Watchdogs’ communications and testimony related to a civil defamation case.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "subpoena", "legal_order_venue": "State", "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "Illinois", "abbreviation": "IL" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "Edgar County Watchdogs" ], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "California newsroom, free speech group get $500,000 in public records lawsuit", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/california-newsroom-free-speech-group-get-500000-in-public-records-lawsuit/", "first_published_at": "2024-03-13T13:48:36.743223Z", "last_published_at": "2024-03-13T13:48:36.743223Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-03-13T13:42:27.738726Z", "date": "2023-11-28", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "San Jose", "longitude": -121.89496, "latitude": 37.33939, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"rbzsk\">The San Jose City Council approved a $500,000 payment to the San José Spotlight and the First Amendment Coalition on Nov. 28, 2023, following their public records lawsuit against the California city and former Mayor Sam Liccardo.</p><p data-block-key=\"5pogo\">The Spotlight, a nonprofit newsroom, <a href=\"https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/San-Jose-Spotlight-FAC-v.-San-Jose-Verified-Petition-for-Writ-of-Mandate-2.3.22.pdf\">filed the lawsuit</a> on Feb. 3, 2022, alleging that the state’s Public Records Act was violated when Liccardo used private emails and text messages for city business in order to shield the communications from disclosure, and the city improperly searched the records. The lawsuit said it sought to enforce the public’s right of access to communications sent or received on nongovernmental devices.</p><p data-block-key=\"8n7b7\">In July 2023, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Thomas Kuhnle ordered the city to release hundreds of pages of improperly withheld records, the Spotlight <a href=\"https://sanjosespotlight.com/ex-san-jose-mayor-sam-liccardo-and-city-violated-the-law-judge-rules-california-public-records-act/\">reported</a>. The following month, Kuhnle ruled that Liccardo and the city had violated transparency laws by failing to provide details about how they attempted to locate and search Liccardo’s private communications.</p><p data-block-key=\"40l25\">The financial award is the result of mandated fee-shifting under California’s records act — wherein the “prevailing party” is reimbursed for its legal costs. The Spotlight <a href=\"https://sanjosespotlight.com/san-jose-approves-hefty-pay-out-for-california-public-records-lawsuit/\">reported</a> that the San Jose City Council unanimously authorized the $500,000 payment for attorneys fees for the news outlet and nonprofit at the meeting in November.</p><p data-block-key=\"9j16h\">In a statement to the news outlet, Liccardo expressed dissatisfaction with the agreement and said that the money would “incentivize lawyers to continue trolling ‘gotcha’ public records lawsuits.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7lf5v\">Karl Olson, an attorney representing the Spotlight, <a href=\"https://sanjosespotlight.com/san-jose-to-pay-six-figures-after-losing-public-records-lawsuit/\">told the outlet</a>, “We think this was a hard fought victory that helped vindicate the public’s right to know, and we hope in the future it won’t be necessary for parties to have to go to court to get public records.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7d063\">Spotlight co-founder and CEO Ramona Giwargis told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that it’s community members, not the public officials, who are paying the price.</p><p data-block-key=\"ckgq0\">“I heard from a lot of residents later saying that this is unfair. Taxpayers are on the hook now for half a million dollars because city officials didn’t follow the law,” Giwargis said. “Even though they keep getting sued it doesn’t stop or change anything. For the city, it’s just a blip on the radar.”</p><p data-block-key=\"7efih\">Giwargis said that the Spotlight has since worked with State Sen. Dave Cortese to <a href=\"https://sd15.senate.ca.gov/news/senator-cortese-announces-bill-boost-transparency-public-records\">draft a bill</a>, proposed in January 2024, to improve transparency and provide structure for complying with the California Public Records Act.</p><p data-block-key=\"57tju\">“We need to put more teeth into these policies so that there is some kind of repercussion that actually makes a difference,” Giwargis said.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Josephs_Pictures-09.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.jpg", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"3p0io\">San José Spotlight Senior Reporter Joseph Geha, at left, interviews Mayor Matt Mahan in 2023. The Spotlight was awarded $500,000 in November following its victory in a public records lawsuit involving a former mayor’s communications.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": "22CV394443", "case_type": "CIVIL", "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": null, "legal_order_venue": null, "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [], "case_statuses": [ "settled" ], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [ "San José Spotlight" ], "tags": [ "public records" ], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Other Incident" ], "targeted_journalists": [], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] }, { "title": "Reporter subpoenaed for testimony in Title IX lawsuit", "url": "https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/reporter-subpoenaed-for-testimony-in-title-ix-lawsuit/", "first_published_at": "2024-01-05T17:53:06.176220Z", "last_published_at": "2024-02-08T22:11:02.207674Z", "latest_revision_created_at": "2024-02-08T22:11:02.023953Z", "date": "2023-11-22", "exact_date_unknown": false, "city": "Sacramento", "longitude": -121.4944, "latitude": 38.58157, "body": "<div class=\"block-rich_text\"><p data-block-key=\"ezj50\">California-based USA Today reporter Kenneth “Kenny” Jacoby was subpoenaed on Nov. 22, 2023, to testify in connection with an ongoing lawsuit against multiple Louisiana universities. Jacoby was served a separate subpoena in October for documents and source communications, which was quashed in December.</p><p data-block-key=\"esq2m\">In a May 2021 <a href=\"https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2021/05/26/louisiana-officials-skirted-law-meant-curb-campus-sex-crimes/7048845002/\">article,</a> Jacoby reported that various Louisiana schools and police forces failed to share relevant information with each other after multiple women reported the same college student for sexual misconduct.</p><p data-block-key=\"2af6u\">One of the women cited in Jacoby’s reporting filed a lawsuit against two university systems and a local government in May 2022, alleging negligence and violations of her rights under Title IX. According to the <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.lamd.60517/gov.uscourts.lamd.60517.1.0.pdf\">complaint</a>, the woman — identified only as Jane Doe to protect her identity — learned from Jacoby’s article that the universities had been aware of her assailant’s history of sexual misconduct before the attack against her.</p><p data-block-key=\"af51e\">The board of supervisors of the University of Louisiana System initially issued Jacoby a <a href=\"https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/subpoena-quashed-for-reporters-communications-as-part-of-title-ix-lawsuit\">sweeping document subpoena</a>, which listed 28 requests for his communications, reporting materials and unpublished work product around the article. It was subsequently limited to just his texts with Doe and notes from their conversations, as well as an affidavit authenticating and contextualizing them.</p><p data-block-key=\"dgt80\">The university system argued that the communications would prove that Doe had learned the material facts underlying her allegations earlier than she claimed and had missed the statute of limitations to file the lawsuit.</p><p data-block-key=\"9nikv\">Though that subpoena was ultimately quashed on Dec. 21, the university system issued a <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.caed.438351/gov.uscourts.caed.438351.1.1.pdf\">second subpoena</a> on Nov. 22 for Jacoby to testify concerning his communications with Doe (the subpoena was reissued just over a week later changing the time of the deposition).</p><p data-block-key=\"2mpp8\">Jacoby <a href=\"https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.caed.438351/gov.uscourts.caed.438351.1.0.pdf\">filed a request</a> for a protective order on Dec. 6 requesting that the court ensure he is not compelled to testify. When contacted by the Tracker, Jacoby declined to comment further until the matter is resolved.</p></div>", "introduction": "", "teaser": "", "teaser_image": "https://media.pressfreedomtracker.us/media/images/Jacoby_deposition.2e16d0ba.fill-1330x880.png", "primary_video": null, "image_caption": "<p data-block-key=\"yxh5q\">A portion of the subpoena issued to USA Today reporter Kenneth “Kenny” Jacoby on Nov. 22, 2023, ordering him to testify in connection with a negligence lawsuit against the University of Louisiana System.</p>", "arresting_authority": null, "arrest_status": null, "status_of_charges": null, "release_date": null, "detention_date": null, "unnecessary_use_of_force": false, "case_number": null, "case_type": null, "status_of_seized_equipment": null, "is_search_warrant_obtained": false, "actor": null, "border_point": null, "target_us_citizenship_status": null, "denial_of_entry": false, "stopped_previously": false, "did_authorities_ask_for_device_access": null, "did_authorities_ask_about_work": null, "assailant": null, "was_journalist_targeted": null, "charged_under_espionage_act": false, "subpoena_type": null, "name_of_business": null, "third_party_business": null, "legal_order_type": "subpoena", "legal_order_venue": "Federal", "status_of_prior_restraint": null, "mistakenly_released_materials": false, "links": [], "equipment_seized": [], "equipment_broken": [], "state": { "name": "California", "abbreviation": "CA" }, "updates": [ "(2024-02-01 00:00:00+00:00) Subpoena for California reporter’s testimony quashed" ], "case_statuses": [], "workers_whose_communications_were_obtained": [], "target_nationality": [], "targeted_institutions": [], "tags": [], "current_charges": [], "dropped_charges": [], "politicians_or_public_figures_involved": [], "authors": [], "categories": [ "Subpoena/Legal Order" ], "targeted_journalists": [ "Kenneth “Kenny” Jacoby (USA Today)" ], "subpoena_statuses": null, "type_of_denial": [] } ]