Freedom of the Press

Judge rules Seattle media companies must hand over unpublished protest images to police

The Seattle (Washington) Times reports that it and four other news outlets have been ordered to  comply with a subpoena and give the Seattle Police Department unpublished video and photos from a May 30 racial justice protest that turned violent.

Independence Day

Editor's Note: America’s Newspapers and its members have a vested interest in helping the general public understand the essential role of a free press. Members are encouraged to publish this opinion piece and the accompanying editorial cartoon — or write their own editorial — to educate the public about this important issue.
On this Independence Day, it’s worth reflecting on the lessons the Founders have for us as we assess the role and the practices of the news media today. Most importantly, the press and the government may often have an adversarial relationship, but the government must not attempt to delegitimize the press and its work because they are essential to a free society.
Assaults on Journalists
In the past, journalists in the USA have been able to safely perform their work, as domestic acts of violence against them were a rare occurrence. However, during the recent protests we’ve seen journalists attacked on Main Streets across America. While some of these assaults can be accounted as inevitable injuries during the fog of civil unrest, many more appeared to be plainly purposeful attacks by police on reporters and photographers openly and lawfully doing their jobs.

Editor's Note: America’s Newspapers’ advocacy efforts include protecting the ability of newspapers to keep Americans informed with truthful, objective reporting. Members are encouraged to publish this opinion piece and editorial cartoon or write their own to educate the public about this important issue.

Download Editorial Cartoon

This cartoon is available to all newspapers to use at no cost.

Download in color

Download in black and white

While local newspapers continue to field reporters and bring news and advice from public health authorities in print and online — at considerable cost — their revenues have all but disappeared as the businesses that were their most important advertisers were shuttered. That’s why America’s Newspapers and other organizations representing local news providers are asking Congress to take urgent action to ensure you don’t lose your vital sources of timely and trustworthy information.