SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris on Monday condemned attacks on journalists covering the nationwide protests – whether at the hands of police or protesters.
“Over the past week, we have witnessed numerous attacks on journalists during the protests that grip our nation,” she said in a message today to the union’s broadcasters. “Dozens of journalists have been injured, harassed or detained simply for doing their jobs and exercising their rights as members of the press. Whether perpetrated by the public or by the state, acts of violence on journalists bringing news to the communities they serve are a betrayal of our nation’s founding principle that a free press is necessary for the maintenance of a free government.”
“These are brazen attacks on unarmed citizens, our democracy and the people’s right to know how those on whom we confer power are using that power,” she said. “As citizens of this democratic nation, and as a labor union representing broadcast journalists and other media professionals, SAG-AFTRA unequivocally champions the First Amendment rights of journalists to gather information and report the truth. We stand with all professional journalists who find their ability to report on our government challenged or compromised.”
She also urged reporters in the field “to remember to be mindful that the stress of your work can impact both your physical and mental health and to seek help when needed. Most importantly, stay safe and know your union has your back. Thank you for the work that you do to keep us informed.”
This comes after the guild, which represents thousands of broadcast journalists, pushed back Friday against President Donald Trump and his surrogates — without naming them — for their attacks on the free press, and for the more than 150 “pernicious assaults” on reporters who have been covering the nationwide protests.
Trump repeatedly has called media outlets with which he disagrees “the enemy of the American people” and regularly reviles reporters on Twitter and at press briefings.
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