LOCAL 211 SYRACUSE, NEW YORK
NABET211.ORG
Contact Us
News
News
NABET-CWA LOCAL 51211 Copyright © All rights reserved worldwid
Feb 16 2018

Washington, DC - Unions representing 30,000 reporters, photographers, and broadcast
employees are praising a bill filed Monday that would make it a federal crime to assault a
journalist.

The Journalist Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, addresses a
real need, said NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer.

“This is a dangerous time to be a journalist,” Lunzer said. “At least 44 reporters were
physically attacked in the U.S. last year and angry rhetoric that demonizes reporters
persists. The threatening atmosphere is palpable.

“Journalists put themselves in danger in order to keep Americans and the world informed,”
he said. “The Journalist Protection Act deserves the support of everyone who believes our
democracy depends on a free and vibrant press.”

Among the attacks:

In March 2017, an OC Weekly intern and two photographers were assaulted by at a Make
America Great Again rally in Huntington Beach, Calif.
In May, a Montana candidate for Congress body-slammed a Guardian reporter who was
attempting to interview him.
In August, a journalist for the Hill was punched in the face and thrown to the ground at a
rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
In 2015, a news reporter and a cameraman were shot dead on live TV in in Roanoke, Va.
In April, the international organization Reporters Without Borders cited President Trump’s
rhetoric against journalists as a factor in lowering the United States’ ranking in its annual
World Press Freedom Index.

“Not all attacks on journalists this year have been committed by Trump supporters, but the
fact remains that rhetoric emanating from the world’s most powerful office is stoking an
environment in which these attacks proliferate,” Rep. Swalwell said in a news release. “We
must send a loud, clear message that such violence won’t be tolerated.”

Charlie Braico, President National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians,
said NABET’s members are “easy and tempting prey for anti-media extremists and thieves”
because they often work in the field alone or with just one other person. They also carry
equipment that’s expensive and cumbersome, he said.

“The Journalist Protection Act will permit the authorities to properly punish people who
attempt to interfere with our members as they work in dynamic and challenging
newsgathering situations,” Braico said.

The bill would make it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist
engaged in reporting or with the intention of intimidating the journalist or impeding
newsgathering. It calls for punishment of up to six years in prison.
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), a member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary
committees, on Monday introduced the Journalist Protection Act to make a federal crime of certain attacks on
those reporting the news.

During his campaign and since taking office, President Trump has created a climate of extreme hostility to the
press by describing mainstream media outlets as “a stain on America,” “trying to take away our history and our
heritage,” and “the enemy of the American People.” He tweeted a GIF video of himself body-slamming a
person with the CNN logo superimposed on that person’s face, and retweeted a cartoon of a “Trump Train”
running over a person with a CNN logo as its head.

Such antagonistic communications help encourage others to think, regardless of their views, that violence
against people engaged in journalism is more acceptable. In April, the international organization Reporters
Without Borders lowered the United States’ ranking in its annual World Press Freedom Index, citing President
Trump’s rhetoric.

“President Donald Trump’s campaign and administration have created a toxic atmosphere,” Swalwell said. “It’s
not just about labelling reports of his constant falsehoods as #FakeNews – it’s his casting of media
personalities and outlets as anti-American targets, and encouraging people to engage in violence.”

Last March, OC Weekly journalists said they were assaulted by demonstrators at a Make America Great Again
rally in Huntington Beach, Calif. In August, a reporter was punched in the face for filming anti-racism counter-
protestors in Charlottesville, Va. And in September, a Joplin, Mo. blogger was similarly attacked for his
providing information about the community.

“Not all attacks on journalists this year have been committed by Trump supporters, but the fact remains that
rhetoric emanating from the world’s most powerful office is stoking an environment in which these attacks
proliferate,” Swalwell said. “We must send a loud, clear message that such violence won’t be tolerated.”

The Journalist Protection Act makes it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist
affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or
her from newsgathering for a media organization. It represents a clear statement that assaults against people
engaged in reporting is unacceptable, and helps ensure law enforcement is able to punish those who interfere
with newsgathering.

The bill is supported by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and by News Media for Open
Government, a broad coalition of news media and journalism organizations working to ensure that laws,
policies and practices preserve and protect freedom of the press, open government and the free flow of
information in our democratic society.

“This is a dangerous time to be a journalist,” said Bernie Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild, a division of the
CWA. “At least 44 reporters were physically attacked in the U.S. last year and angry rhetoric that demonizes
reporters persists. The threatening atmosphere is palpable. The Journalist Protection Act deserves the
support of everyone who believes our democracy depends on a free and vibrant press.”
See who has retired
NABET News
Employee Free Choice Act  - What the Bill Would Do
Your New Job Video
Employment At Will: What Does It Mean?
Employee Free Choice Act Videos
Occupational Safety & Health Administration  
CWA Health & Safety page
Huge victory for NABET-CWA
$1,500   Grievance Award   against  WTRF-TV 3-1-10

NLRB Judge Issues Landmark Decision Against CNN America
Click
here  for the full story or a  PDF file of the NLRB ruling.
US Department Of Labor audit of NABET-CWA Local 211
WSYR-TV Sold to Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc.Decembere 2012