Updated June 16, 2020
Over the past week, demonstrators have flooded cities nationwide to protest police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. Journalists have found themselves in dangerous situations while covering protests and bringing essential updates to their communities.
While it is necessary for journalists to be out and active, safely reporting and not endangering yourself or communities through your actions and coverage is paramount.
Below are resources on how to safely cover a protest and ethically report on the movements they represent:
- Press On, a southern journalism collective, compiled tips for journalists’ on ethical reporting on police violence and Black-led resistance.
- Poynter created 23 guidelines for journalists covering protests to ensure they are observing safely as well as steps to take when pepper sprayed and how to identify different types of tear gas.
- The International News Safety Institute created a demonstration reporting checklist and a guide to protecting yourself during protest coverage.
- The Student Press Law Center made a guide for student journalists on knowing their rights during a protest and analyzed how newsrooms could approach showing protester’s faces in photos.
- This 2011 guide from the DART Center brought experts together to share their experiences covering street protests offered advice for how to not get caught in the middle of protests
- The Right to Photograph & Record in Public reference page has updated protocol on recording and photographing for each state
- The National Press Photographers Association also created a guide for photographing and recording high-conflict news events.
- In 2018, the Committee to Protect Journalists published a list of what to do during scenarios of disorder
- Protesting during the modern age now involves digital safety as well as physical safety. Electronic Frontier Foundation has tips for personal digital security while attending a protest.
- The International Journalists’ Network has safety basics and economic considerations concerning journalists’ safety in a protest
- Following the Occupy Wall Street protests, The Nation published a Q&A on journalists’ and their rights during protests
- The Columbia Journalism Review explained why covering a protest is so dangerous for journalists and why they have a right to do so and how important word choice is when describing police activity
- From preparation tips to legal guidance, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has covered every facet of safety for journalists attending protests.
- ProPublica investigative reporter Andrew Ford breaks down 5 ways you can hold your police department accountable based on his experience covering police
- Buzzfeed News has been updating a database of misinformation and hoaxes related to protests circulating on social media
- Education Writers Association created a resource page dedicated to data and tools for examining race in the education system
- Adding to existing deep analysis and reports on race issues, Race Forward published a Race Reporting Guide to include historical context and solutions
- Part of being prepared is educating yourself. Seeing White and The View From Somewhere are two podcasts that dive into the history of whiteness in America and feature stories of oppression that shaped journalism, respectively.
- To avoid giving a platform to hate groups, The Oxygen of Amplification from Data & Society has helpful tips for reporters on how to look out for hateful messages
- The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has been updating its database of attacks on journalists and arrested journalists
- Journalist’s Resource brought experts together to share 10 tips for journalists covering protests against police violence and their insights on what the long-term impact of the protests may be.
- After a webinar discussing legal and ethical challenges of protest reporting, the Institute for Nonprofit News pulled together the Do’s and Don’ts of covering protests
- Trusting News shares small steps that newsrooms can take to amp up the credibility of their coverage
- The National Association of Black Journalists pulled together resources for black journalists who are reporting on protests and coping with additional levels of stress
- The Belgium-based Media Diversity Institute published two handbooks on how Black Lives Matter is changing conversations in media and how to approach showing protestors faces
- The Michigan State University School of Journalism has a series on cultural competency that answers basic questions related to reporting on race and ethnicity
- Thousands have shown up to advocate for Black transgender lives in the past week. The Human Rights Campaign’s guide to getting transgender coverage right breaks down vocabulary and historical context for reporters
- Here’s some advice from the ACLU for how to interact with police during a protest if you’re stopped for photographing or taking video during a protest.
- Infectious disease and biosecurity experts give step-by-step guidance on protesting while keeping your household safe from COVID-19
- The Conversation answers 6 common questions about protesting during a pandemic
- OneZero walks through getting tested post-protest, what to do with your results and where to get tested for free in certain cities
Creative Commons of protesters in Minneapolis protesting the killing of George Floyd by Lorie Shaull.