In a new episode of “Civic,” a podcast of the San Francisco Public Press, FAC Executive Director David Snyder talks about the important role journalists play in documenting social justice movements, and the alarming frequency with which reporters and photographers faced arrest and injury by police “for just doing their job,” as they covered Black Lives Matter protests over the last year. It’s against this backdrop that a bill is being considered by the California Legislature for the second time that could add new protections for press at the scene of protests.
“Journalists are the eyes and ears of the public,” Snyder told “Civic” host Laura Wenus. “They are the only people, in most instances, who are in position to tell us what government is doing in our name.”
Senate Bill 98, introduced by state Sen. Mike McGuire, would would provide some additional protections for journalists at protest scenes and in certain other circumstances. That’s why FAC backs SB 98 as filed and strongly opposes a recent amendment that would hinder press access. As Snyder saidin the interview, “Having to rely on the government to provide an explanation of what it’s doing and why would reduce us to an authoritarian state.”