For Immediate Release – March 12, 2019
Contact: Bernie Lunzer
Unions representing 30,000 reporters, correspondents, photographers, field producers and newsgathering broadcast employees are praising a bill that would make it a federal crime to assault journalists.
The NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA are renewing support for the Journalist Protection Act, introduced in the Senate by Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Robert Menendez of New Jersey and in the House by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California. The legislation was originally filed in 2018.
“American journalists are facing assaults, threats, intimidation and even murder simply for fulfilling their First Amendment duties by reporting the news,” said Bernie Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild. “The Journalist Protection Act strengthens the free press that’s essential to our democracy.”
The bill would make it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist engaged in reporting news, or with the intention of intimidating the journalist or impeding news gathering. The term “Journalist” would include reporters, producers, news gathering crews and photographers. The bill calls for punishment of up to six years in prison for convicted offenders. More