The Malheur Enterprise, a local newspaper, requested documents last October as part of its ongoing investigation into whether a state legislator was using his official position to help his private business. On February 5th, the county's district attorney ordered the government agency to disclose the unredacted documents.
The ninth circuit reinstated a lower court's injunction exempting journalists and legal observers from general dispersal orders. Many reporters say they have been assaulted by federal agents despite remaining several feet away from protests.
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit wrote that the lower court’s restraining order was too broad because it failed to specify who qualified as a journalist or legal observer. In previous hearings, the federal government had argued that differentiating between journalists and protesters was especially difficult given that some protesters wear press insignia to avoid the police’s crowd control tactics.
“The public health crisis provides authoritarian governments with an opportunity to implement the notorious ‘shock doctrine’ – to take advantage of the fact that politics are on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, in order to impose measures that would be impossible in normal times,” Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
Reporters Committee Attorney and author of the 2019 Press Freedom Report Sarah Matthews explains why borders and protests remain risky for journalists, as well as how data collected in the US Press Freedom Tracker drives her advocacy work.
The report cites data collected by Freedom House, which shows that, at a minimum, 26 countries have enacted or introduced laws and government rules restricting online media and journalistic access in the name of controlling “fake news.”
NPR's Michele Kelemen will no longer be allowed to travel with the Secretary of State on his upcoming trip to Europe and Central Asia. The decision appears to be a act of retaliation against the news organization following a tense exchange between Pompeo and Keleman's colleague this past Saturday.
The libel of laws haven't changed and Trump is not going to change them, but he has created an environment where attacking the press has become commonplace, not only by him, but by many of his followers and supporters.