CPJ Adviser: Conventions Could Be Dangerous Places

Frank Smyth, senior adviser for journalist security for the Committee to Protect Journalists, is warning journalists that the upcoming political conventions in Cleveland (Republican) and Philadelphia (Democratic) "carry the risk of civil unrest."

That came in a blog post on the CPJ website.

He says "many" journalists and news outlets are investing in "civil unrest" awareness training. He says his own firm has already held a two-day class for "major" news outlets in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and New York in advance of the conventions.

He points out Cleveland has spent federal grant money on riot gear including helmets, shields, batons and full-body armor and that Philadelphia is going to be spending on similar gear.

Smyth advised journalists to 1) Practice Situational Awareness; 2) Work in teams; 3) Know entry and exit routes; 4) Identify yourself as needed; 5) Maintain neutrality; 6) Do not respond to provocation; and 7) Obey police orders.

He also has some body armor/protective gear advice.

To check out a more fleshed-out version of those and more tips, click here.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.