On World Press Freedom Day, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA-14) introduced the Journalist Protection Act in the House and Senate. The bill would strengthen protections for journalists by making intentionally harming or intimidating a working journalist a federal crime.
Unfortunately, attacks on journalists while gathering and reporting the news continue to occur. In 2022, 40 journalists were reportedly assaulted in 2022 in the United States, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, and 86 journalists and media workers around the world were killed, according to UNESCO. “Surging threats and violence against the press demand action,” said Senator Blumenthal. Senator Menendez stated, “Ensuring their freedom and personal safety to perform their jobs is our duty.”
Alliance Executive Vice President & General Counsel Danielle Coffey stated, “We thank Senators Menendez, Blumenthal, and Congressman Swalwell for introducing the Journalist Protection Act and for their commitment in seeking protections for journalists from physical threat or harm while performing vital newsgathering for communities across the country.”
“The Journalist Protection Act will ensure that journalists can do their jobs without fear by sending a message that no matter where the facts may lead, those who seek them must be protected”, said Rep. Swalwell.
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Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.