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#SPJTruth Day: October 22

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Resources for journalists covering the protests

Dear SPJ members and all journalists,

Many of us have never seen anything like what is happening in this country right now. We watched in horror last night as journalists were targeted with violence by law enforcement and protesters in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Louisville and other cities.

First, we want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for all you are doing, the dangers you are facing, the sleepless nights and stress you are undergoing as you work to document these historic events. Second, please BE SAFE. No story is worth being injured or worse, so please do not take unnecessary risks as you are covering these volatile stories.

We’ve gathered the following resources so you may have them in one place, for quick reference, if needed. We hope you will find them useful.


– The Committee to Protect Journalists offers tips for covering protests.

– Poynter provides 23 guidelines for journalists to safely cover protests this weekend.

– Journalists who need assistance can call or email the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press legal hotline at 1-800-336-4243 or hotline@rcfp.org to reach attorneys.

– The SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox offers several resources:
      • Covering protests and civil unrest
      • Diversity resources
      • First Amendment and free speech resources

– The SPJ Code of Ethics provides guidance on reporting and covering stories accurately, fairly and thoroughly.

SPJ’s Ethics Hotline is available for journalists facing ethical dilemmas while reporting.

– The SPJ Legal Defense Fund is a unique account that can be tapped for providing journalists with legal or direct financial assistance.

– RCFP also offers this more in-depth guide to Police, Protesters and the Press.

– Poynter offers this detailed Know Your Rights

– The International Journalists’ Network provides these Mental Health Resources and Tips for Journalists.

– NPPA created this Critical Stress Help Sheet.

– Poynter writes about How Journalists Can Take Care of Themselves While Covering Trauma.

Again, we thank you for your great work and urge you to please be safe. If there is anything else — ANYTHING else — SPJ can do to help or support you, please reach out at communications@spj.org or call (317) 927-8000.

Sincerely and in solidarity,

Society of Professional Journalists

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