National Press Club: Allow Journalists to Bring Protective Gear to Inauguration

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Journalism leaders Michael Freedman, President of the National Press Club and Angela Greiling Keane, President…

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Journalism leaders Michael Freedman, President of the National Press Club and Angela Greiling Keane, President of the National Press Club Journalism Institute issued the following statement on the discussion around how reporters and photographers may protect themselves while covering the Inaugural ceremonies tomorrow:

We call on the Secret Service to drop objections to journalists wearing body armor and helmets as they cover the Inauguration tomorrow at the Capitol. Journalists were targeted during the attack on the Capitol Jan. 6. There is significant documentary evidence of the violence toward journalists and their equipment. «Murder the Media» was written on walls of the Capitol.

Journalists know how to protect themselves in war zones around the world. Part of that approach is the decision to wear body armor and helmets. It is a professional and strategic decision. Law enforcement should want all the people they protect to be as safe as possible. These are unusual circumstances and as in any high-risk environment, journalists and their employers must be free to make their own decisions about their personal protection.  

We endorse the statement made earlier today by Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press on this topic.

The National Press Club, founded in 1908, is The World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists™ with nearly 3,000 members worldwide. The Club is a strong voice for Press Freedom matters abroad and at home.

The Club’s nonprofit, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.

PRESS CONTACT: Lindsay Underwood for the National Press Club; lunderwood@press.org, (202) 662-7561

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SOURCE National Press Club