Sen. Blumenthal introduces bill to make harming and intimidating working journalists a federal crime

Sen. Richard Blumenthal reintroduced legislation today that would make it a federal crime to intentionally harm a working journalist or harm a journalist with the intent of intimidating them from doing their job.

News 12 Staff

Jul 30, 2021, 4:32 PM

Updated 1,035 days ago

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Sen. Blumenthal introduces bill to make harming and intimidating working journalists a federal crime
Sen. Richard Blumenthal reintroduced legislation today that would make it a federal crime to intentionally harm a working journalist or harm a journalist with the intent of intimidating them from doing their job.
The Journalist Protection Act comes as attacks on journalists are at an all-time high, Blumenthal says.
According to the Press Freedom Tracker, there were 427 physical attacks on journalists in 2020 – that’s higher than the prior three years combined.
The Journalist Protection Act makes an important statement that violence targeting the free press, an industry protected by the First Amendment, will not be tolerated, and will serve as the federal backstop if such crimes are not punished at the state or local level, Blumenthal says.
“As threats and violence against the media have multiplied more menacingly in recent years, the press needs and deserves greater protection,” Blumenthal says. “The right and responsibility of journalists to hold accountable people in positions of power is absolutely fundamental to our democracy."
Organizations supporting the bill include: Communications Works of America, News Media for Open Government, News Media Alliance, Radio Television Digital News Association, National Press Photographers Association, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, National Newspaper Association, News Leaders Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Professional Photographers of America, American Society of Media Photographers, National Association of Broadcasters, Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press, North American Nature Photography Association, American Photographic Artists.


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