Hearst Television’s SVP of News Barb Maushard says it’s “extremely troubling” to see journalists under fire in their coverage of recent protests over U.S. racial injustice. She lauds their commitment to facing dangers from numerous quarters in returning each day to the volatile, anxious streets of their communities and says Hearst’s news operation is ready to adapt to anything 2020 can throw at it.
As protests spread across the U.S., journalists are being attacked by police forces and even sustaining serious injuries. Above, NBC News journalist Ed Ou after police fired teargas and rubber bullets in Minneapolis on 30 May (Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP)
Now is the time for local journalists to do what they do best — provide context.
Amid protests against racisim after the death of George Floyd, do TV shows valorizing the police like Law & Order: SVU really belong on the air anymore?
Broadcast outlets are using their airwaves to help viewers grapple with the tough issues of racial and judicial inequality brought to a head by the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Kaitlin Rust: “As a journalist, you never want to be the story. It makes my stomach turn to see so many other journalists experiencing much worse and much greater physical harm for simply doing their jobs.”
Reporters are often faced with tough situations. For black journalists, covering the George Floyd protests and other issues of racial injustice bears additional layers of complexity, one that involves managing encounters with law enforcement while on the job, and processing the emotional toll it can take to cover these events in the first place.
A freelance journalist, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Minneapolis, and dozens of news organizations urged Minnesota authorities to let journalists work unimpeded. One organization has logged more than 230 incidents targeting journalists since George Floyd’s death. The Associated Press captured film of New York police shoving and swearing at two of its journalists while documenting arrests Tuesday night after a curfew went into effect. Journalists covering the story are exempt from the curfew.
The ACLU filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday against law enforcement officials for city of Minneapolis and for state of Minnesota over law enforcement actions against journalists who have been covering protests to the death of George Floyd.
According to a new study, local TV remains the top source of news since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that news is causing a lot of angst. That is according to marketing agency Digital Third Coast, which polled 2,000 people on their relationship to the media and how it may have changed during the pandemic. Local TV news was the preferred news source for 17% of respondents, followed by CNN (15%), followed by online, newspaper and Fox News, all at 9%.
If the snapshot of this time is George Floyd on the ground, Derek Chauvin’s knee hard on his neck, society moves in one direction. But other images entice with a competing narrative: looters loading stolen goods into waiting cars; rogue protesters setting fires; graffiti on national monuments in Washington. For too many nights now, that narrative has gained strength — and moves the country closer to an outcome where force can be seen as both a short-term tactic and a long-term solution.
The hazards of journalism became all too real this week for TV news crews in Chicago with attacks on both personnel and property.
FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks has weighed in on the current protests in response to the death of George Floyd in policy custody, signaling that increasing media diversity is one of the necessary responses to systemic racial inequality.
For black journalists, the civil unrest in cities across America isn’t just a big story. It’s personal and is forcing them to grapple with racial profiling and emotional trauma.