While presidential inaugurations have generally run smoothly in the past, with minimal arrests of protesters and none of journalists, the Reporters Committee would like to remind reporters that we provide a hotline for those who are detained while gathering the news.
A special flier is available on our Web site that tries to spell out what will happen during the arrest process and how to respond. But at such a large event, and with so many different law enforcement agencies involved, it is impossible to tell with any certainty what will actually happen in the event you are detained.
The hotline number is 703-807-2100, a local call from anywhere in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Reporters Committee has established such hotlines at all Democratic and Republican political conventions since 1972, and at a number of other large-scale political events and demonstrations. Journalists often get swept up when police decide to engage in mass arrests of protesters, most notably in St. Paul this summer and New York in 2004.
The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.