The National Association of Broadcasters says it is concerned about a spate of incidents involving broadcast journalists just trying to do their jobs.
Local TV news is one of broadcasters' go-to public service offerings, not to mention one of its financial mainstays.
In a statement, NAB cited 1) a man in San Antonio who shot at two journalists from KSAT-TV before being killed in a shootout by police; 2) a man who stole a vehicle from a WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C. news crew before crashing it into a police car; and 3) two men who tried to steal equipment from a KTNV-TV San Jose news crew during an interview.
An April study from the Radio Television Digital News Association found that one in five broadcast TV news directors report attacks on their employees while on the job.
“NAB is gravely concerned by recent incidents of violence directed against broadcast journalists who are covering local news," the association said in a statement. "A cornerstone of American democracy is the right of the free press to document the stories and events shaping our communities and our nation. Journalists should be afforded the respect to safely provide this valuable service to the community without fear of violence, intimidation or harassment.”
NAB pointed out that it has a digital toolkit with resources to help broadcasters protect themselves in the field, which was created following numerous incidents surrounding coverage of the racial injustice protests.
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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.