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SPJ condemns arrest of Fox 7 News photojournalist, calls for law enforcement to allow journalists to report without interference


4/25/2024


CONTACT
Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — As more protests take place at college campuses across the country, the Society of Professional Journalists reminds law enforcement that journalists should be allowed to cover the story without interference and condemns the arrest of a Fox 7 News photojournalist at Wednesday’s University of Texas protest. SPJ demands that the Texas Department of Public Safety drop all charges against the photographer immediately.

“It is absolutely abhorrent that journalists are being arrested and harmed while doing their jobs,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “This is a clear violation of the First Amendment. SPJ stands with all journalists in their efforts to seek truth and report it, a commanding principle in the SPJ Code of Ethics.”

For journalists covering the protests, SPJ offers several resources such as the SPJ Toolbox, the SPJ Code of Ethics, the SPJ Ethics Hotline and the SPJ MMJ Safety Guidelines. Journalists on the scene should team up with other journalists, look out for each other, have an escape route, and if you begin to feel unsafe, leave. No story is worth being injured or worse, so please do not take unnecessary risks as you are covering these volatile stories.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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