Research Director Katy Glenn Bass and Senior Visiting Fellow Joel Simon talked to Lawfare’s Tyler McBrien this week about the Knight Institute’s new report “Covering Democracy: Protests, the Police, and the Press.”
When asked what drove him to write the report, Simon explained, “If you talk to journalists around the country about the biggest threats they face, it’s the challenge of covering protests. And it’s everywhere. And it’s pervasive.”
On the question of differentiating between press and protesters, and the rights of both, Glenn Bass offered, “In most contexts during a protest, protesters and journalists have the same First Amendment rights. The one place when trying to distinguish journalists from protesters and bystanders becomes really critical is when a protest has been declared unlawful and people have been ordered to disperse or when a curfew order has been put in place. As a matter of policy, journalists should be allowed to remain so they can document police activity in that time. In that situation, it does become important to offer some tools and commonsense approaches to determine who counts as a journalist in those circumstances.”
Listen to the full episode here.