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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Arrested for asking a question, Americans divided on the news

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SPJ Leads | 5/17/2017
Arrested for asking a question, Americans divided on the news

By Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Department

"Drug trafficking [in Sinaloa, Mexico] is a way of life," [Javier] Valdez said in an October interview with Rompeviento TV. "You have to assume the task that falls to you as a journalist -- either that or you play dumb. I don't want to be asked, 'What were you doing in the face of so much death ... why didn't you say what was going on?"' Valdez won awards for his coverage of drug trafficking and organized crime. He was killed Monday, at least the sixth journalist killed in Mexico since early March. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico for their work since 1992 and 50 more journalists in that period whose deaths have not yet been confirmed to be because of their work.

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Why can't we be friends? Well, for starters, the American people's attitudes about the news are more divided along partisan lines than ever measured before (Pew Research Center has been measuring since 1985).
West Virginia Public News Service reporter Dan Heyman was arrested last week while attempting to ask Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question about preexisting conditions and domestic violence under the proposed healthcare plan. SPJ spoke out: Arresting a journalist for doing their job is a plain violation of the First Amendment and a huge loss for the public.

ETHICS ESSENTIALS

FBI director James Comey was fired last week. SPJ Ethics Chair Andrew Seaman reminds journalists that serious accusations make it even more important for journalists to get to the truth and to be extra careful to prevent irresponsible journalism.

GET A GIG

KGBT-TV in Harlingen, Texas, is searching for a Multimedia Journalist to report, shoot and edit news stories, come up with story ideas, make contacts and more.
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania's, The Pocono Record is hiring an Editor.

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Columbia Journalism Review just published a list of the best newsletters for keeping people who work in media informed about tech, culture, policy and more. More efficient mornings ahead.
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The Pulliam First Amendment Award is all about honoring those who defend our First Amendment rights - journalists and non-journalists alike. Nominate a First Amendment hero here.
SPJ's Legal Defense Fund covers journalists who need legal or financial assistance, especially in situations like Dan Heyman's arrest for asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question. Give us a hand?

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SPJ Leads
– Why journalists should prepare for social media scoops
– Recording police protected by First Amendment
– EIJ early bird registration deadline Tuesday

Press Notes
– Breast Cancer Awareness: Learning From Jackie Collins' Death
– Blog: CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France
– Baboon raid temporarily forced Zimbabwe radio station off air

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SPJ Blogs
Quill
SPJ Leads
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