2021 Legislative Priorities
Dan Shelley, RTDNAs executive director and COO, released this statement in support of Californias Senate Bill 98, Public peace: Media access.
We urge the Federal Communications Commission to reject a request from the Baltimore City States Attorneys office to investigate the content of news stories conducted by WBFF-TV into the policies, activities and official business of that office and its chief prosecutor, Marilyn J. Mosby.
RTDNA has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and more than 100 other press freedom and First Amendment groups urging the Justice Department to include treatment of the press in its reviews of the Minneapolis Police Department, Louisville Metro Police Department and any future inquiries the Department may pursue.
During the past year, the job of seeking and reporting the truth became increasingly dangerous. Journalists were threatened, assaulted and arrested at an alarming rate while on the job. We faced unprecedented levels of verbal and physical violence at the hands of civilians, police and the leaders we are meant to hold accountable.
Its never been a more dangerous time to be a journalist in America. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, attacks on the media have increased by 1000%. Our members have reported increased threats and violent attacks and have taken extraordinary measures to keep their teams safe.
For years, journalists have been arrested and assaulted for recording police activity in public spaces. In the protests following the death of George Floyd and during demonstrations surrounding the 2020 election, this violation of a journalists right to record became particularly troubling.
The Radio Television Digital News Association sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding immediate access for journalists to Border Patrol processing facilities and Border Patrol officials.
Journalists serve their communities by seeking and reporting the truth, but the circulation of anti-media rhetoric has made this work dangerous. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that Congress pass legislation acknowledging that journalists have targets on their backs.
Every day, thousands of local journalists help shape the action we take to right wrongs, hold those in power accountable and use our power as voters. The work of journalists is necessary, but it is increasingly dangerous.
Years of anti-journalist rhetoric trumpeted by those in power has caused a dramatic and disturbing increase in attacks on the media. News organizations large and small are taking security measures they never thought would be necessary in this country.