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June 8, 2020, 5:50 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: nppa.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Sarah Scire   |   June 8, 2020

The Press Freedom Defense Fund and National Press Photographers Association are joining forces to provide legal advocacy for journalists arrested or injured covering news stories, the groups announced Thursday.

The PFDF, which is part of First Look Media, and NPPA say their Legal Advocacy Initiative for Journalists is a “first step” toward “creating a coalition of press freedom organizations to signal to state, local and federal governments that targeting journalists who cover national protests should not be tolerated.”

As of Thursday night, at least 50 journalists had been arrested and nearly 200 had been assaulted during the nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

The new Legal Advocacy Initiative for Journalists will:

  • Ensure journalists arrested in these protests have sufficient legal defense through pro bono counsel, or funds to pay for local defense;
  • Train journalists about their First Amendment right to record and report as well as ethics, safety and security during events like this;
  • Identify partners in law school clinics across the country to provide support in these matters;
  • Create a resource list of lawyers to do criminal defense work for journalists in various jurisdictions, including pro bono cases; and
  • Engage in strategic litigation to defend journalists’ established First Amendment rights to cover demonstrations, public police activity and civil unrest.

You can read the full release here.

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