RTDNA Joins Free Press Groups in Tracking First Amendment Abuse

More than 20 organizations have launched U.S. Press Freedom Tracker website

Furthering its efforts around the First Amendment, the Radio Television Digital News Association has joined more than 20 organizations in launching the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a website dedicated to documenting abuses against journalists.

The tracker is a repository of data about incidents – arrests of reporters, equipment searches and physical attacks among them – “at a time when journalists in the U.S. are facing increasing hostility,” the RTDNA said.

Reporters covering protests in Washington and North Dakota, for instance, are among 19 journalists charged with crimes so far this year. Ten are currently facing charges, the RTDNA said.

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Twelve journalists have been subject to equipment searches, and 10 have been physically attacked, according to the tracker.

The tracker shows data collected from news reports and submissions. The Columbia Journalist, Review, Investigative Reporters & Editors and Knight First Amendment Institute are among partnering organizations.

The RTNDA’s support of the tracker is part of the group’s larger multifaceted initiative fighting the range of threats, from limits on access to ugly rhetoric, that impede journalists from doing their jobs. The group launched a First Amendment task force earlier this year.