Reporter arrests

United States v. Wood

December 21, 2017

The Reporters Committee wrote a letter to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia to express its concern regarding statements made during the closing arguments in the prosecution of Alexei Wood.  Wood live-streamed the January 20, 2017 Inauguration Day protest in Washington, DC, and was arrested and charged with various crimes stemming from his presence at the protest.  He was acquitted on December 21, 2017.  During closing arguments, the Assistant United States Attorney argued that Wood could not be an "up-and-coming journalist" because of Wood's familiarity with certain terms like "black bloc" and "kettle" and commented on Wood's "fake press badge."  The Reporters Committee's letter emphasized that newsgatherers must be familiar with the subject matter they cover, including its terminology, and that reporters are not required to have a press pass to cover a protest on public streets.

State v. Tisdale

December 18, 2017

The Reporters Committee wrote a letter to the presiding judge in State v. Tisdale, regarding the sentencing of a Georgia journalist, Nydia Tisdale, who was convicted on a misdemeanor obstruction charge related to her arrest while filming a political rally in 2014. The letter, submitted for the sentencing hearing, argued that Tisdale should be given leniency because she was engaged in newsgathering at the time of the arrest and because she performs a valuable service to the public.

Charges against arrested N.C. reporter dropped

Amy Zhang | Newsgathering | News | August 14, 2013
August 14, 2013

The Wake County District Attorney's office has dropped misdemeanor charges against veteran Charlotte Observer reporter Tim Funk after arresting him in June during a protest.

Arrested Detroit Free Press photographer awaits police reply

Amy Zhang | Newsgathering | News | July 17, 2013
July 17, 2013

The Detroit Free Press is awaiting the results of an internal Detroit Police Department investigation before deciding whether to take legal action against officers that detained a photographer and confiscated recording equipment while she was filming on public property last week.

Journalists covering Arkansas oil spill threatened with arrest

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | April 9, 2013
April 9, 2013

Journalists covering an Arkansas oil spill in a suburban neighborhood said they were threatened with arrests, kicked out of the disaster site and had to seek permission from ExxonMobil to fly over the evacuated area.

An ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower, Ark., on March 29, causing 22 homes to be evacuated in the small town located north of Little Rock. So far, more than 19,000 barrels of oil have been collected.

Anti-terrorism law infringes First Amendment rights, court finds

Raymond Baldino | Prior Restraints | News | May 23, 2012
May 23, 2012

A federal judge in New York recently halted enforcement of a controversial section of an anti-terrorism bill that the court found harms First Amendment rights. Plaintiffs to the case included noted activists, journalists and a member of Icelandic parliament who argued the law had a chilling effect.

Chicago police detained journalists covering girl's murder

Andrea Papagianis | Newsgathering | Feature | March 20, 2012
March 20, 2012

Two journalists were handcuffed and detained by Chicago police outside a hospital over the weekend as they waited to speak with the family of a 6-year-old girl who was murdered.

Roundup: Treatment of reporters at NYC Occupy raid

Kirsten Berg | Newsgathering | Feature | November 17, 2011
November 17, 2011

New York City police are facing tough criticism for their treatment of reporters covering Tuesday's overnight raid of the Zuccotti Park base of the Occupy Wall Street movement for what some journalists are calling and hashtagging a “media blackout.”

Reporters Committee disturbed by detention of credentialed journalists at "Occupy" protests

Press Release | November 15, 2011
November 15, 2011

The singling out of credentialed journalists in an attempt to separate them from the news events unfolding at the police disbanding of the Occupy Wall Street protests is outrageous and unacceptable, according to Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish.

“It’s extremely disturbing that credentialed reporters would be singled out in a roundup aimed at preventing them from witnessing police activity at the disbanding of the Occupy Wall Street camp,” Dalglish said. “What country are we living in?

Reporters detained, arrested across the country in "Occupy" protests

Kirsten Berg | Newsgathering | Feature | November 4, 2011
November 4, 2011

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer is the latest journalist to be arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that have sprung up across the nation, raising questions about how police should define and handle reporters documenting the protests.