Statement of the New York Press Photographers Association on conflicts involving media amid nationwide protests

JUNE 3, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Bruce Cotler, President – president@nyppa.org

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota has devastated the country at large. With the protests and demonstrations that have come as a result, the press has persevered to bring these protestors a voice.

New York City has been hit particularly hard by the social unrest that we are now facing as a nation, and in covering the tumultuous times, risking their lives and safety to document them, our media colleagues have been attacked.

In attempting to do our job to the best of our abilities, we have found that we are fighting a war on two fronts; the police have resorted to arresting or assaulting journalists, despite the clear display of credentials, and rioters that are independent from the protests are robbing journalists of their equipment.

Journalism is relied on by the public, and as such we should be able to continue to do our job without the fear of retaliation on the part of either the police or opportunists who have used these protests against a great act of injustice to do harm. The Newswomen’s Club of New York has already made a statement condemning these heinous actions, have cited over a hundred such instances of the press being attacked, rather than protected.

We at the New York Press Photographers Association also condemn the assault on and the silencing of the press. We would also like to deliver a message that all journalists should endeavor to stay safe in these difficult times, and that despite the essential nature of our job, your safety is of paramount importance. We call on law enforcement nationwide to allow us to assert our rights under the First Amendment, allow us to perform our jobs unfettered, and ask that any instances in which we are prohibited from doing so be investigated by our elected officials. We urge that a uniform policy of recognition of press credentials be affirmed, and call for a reciprocal agreement that legitimate credentials issued by outside jurisdictions be honored. We continue to support our fellow photojournalists.

Sincerely,

Bruce Cotler, President

and the New York Press Photographers Board of Trustees

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