U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalists assaulted, detained at reproductive rights protests

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Published On
June 30, 2022

Friends of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: Welcome back to your monthly newsletter around press freedom violations in the United States.

A graph showing a snapshot of press freedom violations as documented by the Tracker so far this year.

A snapshot of press freedom violations as documented by the Tracker so far this year.

— U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

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National Reproductive Rights Protests

On June 24, the Supreme Court released its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and 50 years of codified reproductive rights in the United States. As protests broke out across the nation, at least a dozen journalists were assaulted or detained while covering them. The majority of those incidents occurred in Los Angeles, running contrary to recently expanded protections for journalists covering protests in the state.

Adam Rose, who chairs the press rights committee for the Los Angeles Press Club, noted most of the journalists reporting press freedom violations were from smaller outlets or identified as independent. “It really is heartbreaking after things seemed to be getting better with LAPD at other civil unrest earlier this year," Rose said.

Find all incidents from protests immediately following the SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs here as well as ongoing and historical events under the reproductive rights tag in the Tracker.


J6 in Prime Time

As the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Attacks on the Capitol began its prime time and televised hearings this month, at least three reporters have been subpoenaed for testimony or records or both.

Also recently added to the Tracker

In a Supreme Court term packed with controversial cases (see, ahem, Dobbs), one of the more-overlooked rulings has alarmed press freedom advocates, writes our Senior Reporter Stephanie Sugars. This month, SCOTUS significantly limited the path for monetary damages following unlawful searches or excessive use of force and effectively closed the door for First Amendment retaliation claims.

The harrowing news cycles have been incessant. At the beginning of the month, we documented how journalists covering mass shootings, notably in Uvalde and Buffalo, report hurdles to their coverage, including harassment and threats of arrest by law enforcement.

What’s Ahead

As journalists cover ongoing demonstrations, we’ll be documenting press freedom violations. Follow us on Twitter @uspresstracker for our most up-to-date information.

I’ll see you next month.

Kirstin McCudden
Managing Editor, U.S. Press Freedom Tracker