Rep. Swalwell Addresses Journalist Protection Act in Town Hall Call

March 19, 2018 – Rep. Eric Swalwell introduced the Journalist Protect Act because he wants to protect journalists from assault and ensure that “if somebody were to inflict violence upon you to intimidate you in the newsgathering work, that they could be federally prosecuted.”

Aren’t state laws against assault enough? Local reporters could be investigating city hall or the district attorney, making local officials reluctant to bring charges against people who attack journalists, he said. [At 6:35 in the video.]

“We always want a federal backstop for something as important as the First Amendment,” he said.

Speaking at a Town Hall video conference call for local leaders of The NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA on March 15, Swalwell addressed common questions about the bill, which he introduced on Feb. 5. Questions and comments from participants were also addressed by other speakers: CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, Guild President Bernie Lunzer and NABET President Charlie Braico.

Want to volunteer to lobby Congress for the Journalist Protection Act or to support the bill in other ways? Click here.