While Covering Unrest, Some Journalists are Harassed or Handcuffed

Headline Roundup May 31st, 2020

Press freedom violations have been a side effect of the nationwide unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death. Law enforcement attempting to keep the peace have at times arrested or shot rubber bullets at reporters, while angry mobs have harassed and attacked journalists in other cases.

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez's arrest in Minneapolis was the focus of significant coverage. Some voices looked at the apparent consensus among media members, regardless of political bias, that the arrest of Jimenez and any similar moves to diminish press freedom are unacceptable. Conversely, one report from a right-rated outlet concentrated on apparent discrepancies in how press groups responded to the arrest of Jimenez versus the harassment of a Fox News reporter in Washington D.C.

While Covering Unrest, Some Journalists are Harassed or Handcuffed

From the Right
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Some press groups condemned the attack by protesters against Fox News reporter Leland Vittert in Washington, D.C. but others remained silent – despite speaking out against the arrest of a CNN reporter one day earlier.

Vittert was reporting in Lafayette Park, D.C. and covering protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Vittert and his crew were accosted and chased out of the area by protesters early Saturday morning, footage captured by the Daily Caller News Foundation shows.

Many of the groups contacted by the Daily Caller previously publicly...

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From the Left
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Hosts, contributors, and analysts at MSNBC and Fox News spoke about against the arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez in Minneapolis Friday morning.

The journalists were arrested while live on air covering the Minneapolis protests — before being released with an apology from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

In a statement, MSNBC declared, “We condemn the arrest and detention of a crew of @CNN journalists who were simply doing their jobs in a tough situation on the ground in Minneapolis. This is a time...

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From the Center
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ANALYSIS

On any given day, any one of the attacks that I mention in this column would be newsworthy. The fact that this is only a sampling of the many attacks on journalists this weekend underscores the dangers that they are willing to face to document an outpouring of anger, frustration and, in some cases, senseless opportunistic violence.

A crowd swarmed WLKY chief photographer Paul Ahmann, knocked him to the ground, then surrounded him while laughing and taking pictures of him.

Demonstrators trashed news cars in Boston, Atlanta, Louisville and Los...

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