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Press freedom under siege as protests rock the nation

Police in Oakland, California, detain KPIX 5 News reporter Katie Nielsen on June 1, 2020. Photo by ERIN BALDASSARI/KQED

As the Black Lives Matters protests  continue across the country triggered by police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, journalists are increasingly finding themselves in harms way.  The @USPressTracker has found more than 400 reported  incidents since as of June 10.  More than 80% were caused by the police, according to an analysis of the tracker. 

 The U.S. press freedom tracker has been  collecting data since 2017. According to its report, in the past it took them over 1,000 days to reach  400  incidents. The data  below is from May 26 to June 10.

More than 400 aggression against press incidents reported so far at the national George Floyd protests; Source: U.S. press freedom tracker’s twitter updates and google spreadsheets; Note: the tracker did not count June 5, June 7, and June 9 separately

Based on the verified data, Pavement Pieces visualized aggression against press incidents during the national George Floyd protests. The following graph shows the breakdown of incidents, by types and locations. According to the data collected from May 26 to June 5 by the tracker, journalists covering stories in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., New York, Denver, Los Angeles, Louisville, Philadelphia, and Detroit reported more aggression incidents. Overall, journalists in the field reporting the protests are more likely to get assaulted or  detained  by police.

Incidents breakdown by types and locations. Source: U.S. press freedom tracker’s google spreadsheets, May 26 – June 5; Note: every reported incident is counted as one, and all the incidents are categorized into types; assault includes physical attacks, tear gassings, pepper sprayings, and rubber bullets or projectiles.