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  • Covering Protests

    Covering Protests


    Jam lab: How to Report on Civil Unrest Safely
    Free medical guides to treat wounds and other needs for people in protests, covering riots, etc.

    Committee to Protect Journalists Video: How to Prepare to Cover a Demonstration

    Committee to Protect Journalists Video: What to Do When Demonstrations Escalate

    Committee to Protect Journalists Video: How to Deal with Teargas


    SPJ Code of Ethics

    Committee to Protect Journalists: Journalist Security Guide

    U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

    RCFP: Police, Protesters and the Press
    An in-depth guide updated June 2020.

    RCFP: Tips for Covering Protests

    Dart Center: How to Safely Cover Street Protests
    From Judith Matloff, senior adviser, safety training: “Covering civil unrest can be frightening and dangerous. A crowd may turn violent with little warning and police can target journalists or mistake them for rabble rousers. It’s particularly challenging to maintain social distancing during a riot, so take extra precautions to stay on the edge for quick exit. Bring extra masks, gloves and sanitizer for gear.”

    Dart Center: Covering Riot Control in the U.S.
    Dr. Anna Feigenbaum, author of the book Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today, shares a riot control primer for journalists covering protests across the United States.

    Committee to Protect Journalists Video: How to Prepare to Cover a Demonstration

    Committee to Protect Journalists Video: What to Do When Demonstrations Escalate

    Committee to Protect Journalists Video: How to Deal with Teargas

    RTDNA Guidelines for Covering Civil Unrest

    RCFP: Police Protesters and the Press

    Committee to Protect Journalists: Guide to Legal Rights in the US

    Lenfest Institute: A Journalist’s Guide to Safely and Responsibly Covering Protests

    SPJ Legal Defense Fund

    SPJ Ethics Hotline

    RCFP Legal Defense Hotline

    ACOS Alliance: Civil Unrest Resources
    Free medical guides to treat wounds and other needs for people in protests, covering riots, etc.

    Jam Lab: How to Cover Civil Unrest Safely
    Jeff Belzil, IWMF’s security director, offers many useful tips.

    Internews: Covering a Protest? Resources to Keep You Safe
    Available in English and Spanish. Offers mobile security resources, too.

    PEN America: Covering Protests Archives
    A treasure trove of training on legal rights, safety, digital security and more.

    The Guardian: World Protests
    News coverage and opinion from protests around the world.

    NY Times: Why Charges Against Protests are Being Dismissed by the Thousands

    Pen America: Combatting Protest Misinformation

    The New York Times: At Protests Across America, Guns Are Doing the Talking
    SPJ’s Ethics committee offers tips and resources.

    Video: Physical Safety at Polls/Protests
    In this 16-minute tutorial from TrollBusters, journalists will learn tactics for assessing your risk at protests, polling locations and other mass gatherings and how to prepare your digital footprint and physical devices for travel.

    Nieman Lab: How Risky is it for Journalists to Cover Protests

    PEN America: Combatting Protest Disinformation

    First Draft News: George Floyd protests: Resources for Online Newsgathering, Verification, Protecting Sources and Colleagues

    Poynter: Guidelines for Journalists to Safely Cover Protests

    GIJN: Tips for Interviewing Trauma Victims

    Muckrack: Guide for Journalists Covering Protests

    Poynter: 25 Guidelines for Journalists to Safely Cover Unrest

    Dart Center: Tips for Interviewing Victims of Tragedy, Witnesses, and Survivors

    Nieman Storyboard: An Editor’s Sensitive Guide to Interviewing Trauma Victims

    Dart Center: Covering Volatile Street Protests

    The Dart Center Style Guide for Trauma-Informed Journalism
    The style guide is designed as a quick, authoritative reference for reporters, editors and producers working on tight deadlines. It includes brief evidence-informed guidance on news choices, language usage and ethics in reporting on the impact of trauma on individuals, families and communities; recommendations for appropriate use of relevant psychological and scientific terminology; and special considerations when reporting on consequential trauma-laden issues such as racism and sexual violence.

    GIJN: Safety and Security

    Before and After the Vote: A Journalism Resource Database
    From Free Press, this database database features more than 100 resources that address ways to: Cover white supremacy and white-supremacist violence; report on police, protests, uprisings and demonstrations, detect and combat misinformation and disinformation; produce coverage that upholds election integrity; protect journalists’ physical safety and secure digital communications.

    For more training videos, visit our YouTube page.

    Dart Center: Covering Riot Control in 2020

    CPJ Journalist Security Guide
    Download from Kindle for a dollar.

    International Media Support Group: Journalist Safety
    Medical training, how to set up a live shot, covering protests, etc.

    Video: Live Shot Safety
    Tips for broadcasters on how to safely set up a live shot.

    CPJ Safety Kit
    Security guide, safety notes, resource center, first aid videos.

    CPJ Emergency Response Resource Center

    Reporters Without Borders: Safety Guide for Journalists

    James Foley Foundation: Journalist Safety

    JAWS: Resources for Covering Protests

    IWMF: Covering Injustice — Safety Tips for Reporting on Protests

    FAIR: Seven Ways Journalists Use Police Jargon to Obscure the Truth
    From Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

    IJNET: Mental Health and Journalism Toolkit

    Reporting Atrocities: A Toolbox for Journalists Covering Violent Conflict
    A helpful guide from Internews.

    GIJN: The Forensic Methods Reporters Are Using to Reveal Attacks by Security Forces

    IJNET: Tips for Coping After Covering Traumatic Events

    Syracuse University: Citizen Journalism and Political Protests
    As protests continue to be held, we are seeing more altercations between the public and police. This resource shares the role citizen journalists are playing in digital media, the rights of the press at protests, and ways for news organizations, reporters and citizen journalists can establish healthy relationships with law enforcement.

    Trollbusters Video: A Conversation on Media Safety and Coverage
    This panel brings together educators teaching journalism in the face of increased violence in the streets targeting journalists and student journalists. Strategies for staying safe at protests and online come from educators at HBCUs and minority-serving institutions and from Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Founder,

    TrustingNews: Trust-Building Tips for Covering Attacks on Democracy


    RTDNA: As Protests Continue, Need for Contextual Journalism Grows

    IJNET: Tips for reporting on anti-police violence protests in the U.S.

    Poynter: What to Do if You’re Pepper-Sprayed

    University of Georgia: Tips for Journalist’s Covering Protests

    Freedom of the Press Foundation: What to Do if Your Phone is Seized by Police

    HuckMag: A Conflict Photographer’s Guide to Shooting Protests

    The Right to Photograph and Record in Public

    Dart Center: Guide to Working with Freelancers Exposed to Trauma

    Reuters: Safety for Journalists
    The Thomson Reuters Foundation has partnered with UNESCO, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) to develop practical and legal tools for journalists, media managers and newsrooms to counter harassment.

    Video: Know Your Rights – Joining a Protest or Covering One as a Journalist
    Lia Ernst, a NEFAC board member and senior staff attorney at the ACLU, talks about how the First Amendment protects us at political demonstrations across the country. She offers helpful guidance and tips.
    Use this tool to estimate the size of a protest crowd.

    Google Earth Measure Tool
    Use the measure tool to get the size of an area to help estimate a crowd size.

    Dart Center: Trauma and Journalism Handbook

    Journalist’s Resource: 13 Security Tips for Journalists Covering Hate Online

    CPJ: Covering Civil Matters and Disturbances
    Part of CPJ’s journalist security guide.

    CPJ: Physical Safety, Civil Disorder

    Ethical Reporting on Police Violence and Black-led Protests
    Compiled by Press On, a southern movement journalism collective.

    Surveillance Self-Defense List
    Go over this checklist before heading out to cover a protest. Tips on encryption and other digital and personal safety. Includes tips on what to do if your device is confiscated.

    NY Times: Covering Protests Where There’s a Distrust of Social Media Tips for Covering Protests

    Reporters Without Borders World Roundup
    Journalist’s killed, taken hostage or detained in 2018. U.S. ranked among most dangerous countries for journalists for first time.

    SPLC: Student Media Coverage of George Floyd Protests

    RTDNA Coverage Guidelines

    National Union of Journalists: IFJ Safety Guidelines for Covering Demonstrations
    This is a .PDF that will auto-download when you click on the link.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation: Digital Security Tips for Protesters
    The tips for the protesters work well for journalists, too.

    IJNET: Staying Safe While Covering Protests

    National Press Club: Covering Protests — Dissent is Not a One-Way Street

    SPLC: Taking Photos and Shooting Video at Protests, Demonstrations and Crime Scenes

    SEJ: Student Journalist’s Guide to Covering Dissent

    JEA: Tips for Reporting on Protests

    Medium: Dressed for Excess: Gear for Covering Riots, Protests, Etc.

    Amnesty International: Safety During a Protest How to Report on Online Hate Groups Safely

    Navigating the Hate Beat
    Slides from IRE 19 on how to cover hate groups and other issues. Capturing Racial Justice Protests with Data

    Poynter: Covering a Protest? Know Your Rights

    CJR: Covering Protests Has Become the Riskiest Job in Journalism

    NPPA Condemns Minnesota State Patrol for CNN Arrests

    WNYC Guide to Police Misconduct Records

    RCFP: Map of Curfew Orders Around the Country

    RCFP: Police Body Camera Legislation Map
    Tracks the status of state legislation and police department policies regarding public access to police body-worn cameras.

    RCFP: Body-Worn Camera Policies

    Phi Delta Kappan: How to Cover a Protest

    Dart Center: Working With Traumatic Imagery

    MediaShift: Advice for Journalists Working with Traumatic Imagery

    NPPA: Critical Stress Help Sheet
    A single page of safety tips and outreach contact information.

    Local News Lab: Times for White Newsroom Leaders to Act, Tips for Ethical Reporting and Protests

    ProPublica: Five Ways You Can Start Holding Your Police Department Accountable

    Journalists: Point to What Makes Your Protest Coverage Credible

    Oxygen: Crimes Related to Race, Police Brutality

    Twitter Thread: What to Do if Your Protest Rights are Violated

    IJNET: Mental Health Tips and Resources for Journalists
    A single page of safety tips and outreach contact information.

    Nieman Reports: Protest Photography Can Be a Powerful Tool For and Against Black Lives Matter

    Washington Post: Are Police Trying to Stop You from Taking That Cell Phone Video?

    Education Writers Association: EWA Reporter Guide for Inclusive Coverage

    NPPA: Practical Advice About Covering High Profile News Stories
    Some great tips in this Mickey Osterreicher piece about covering protests and elections.

    Nieman Lab: How Journalists Are Managing Their Mental Health

    James F. Foley Foundation Journalism Safety Modules
    A downloadable .PDF of tips and resources to keep journalists safe when doing their jobs.

    James F Foley Foundation Journalist Safety Curricula

    Public Media Alliance: Tools and Resources for Reporting on Protests

    Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism: Security Manual for Covering Street Protests

    Archives: Ferguson, Missouri, Protests and Press Rights

    Resources for those reporting on the attacks on journalists and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, August 2014.

    The Verge: You Have a Right to Record the Police

    Washington Post: Reporters Detained by Police
    Story and video.

    RTDNA’s Letter to Ferguson Police Chief

    NY Times: Ferguson Reveals a Twitter Loop

    Research on Police Brutality
    From Harvard’s Journalist’s Resource site.

    Gigaom: Flexing First Amendment Rights Can Reveal New Threats to Those Rights

    RCFP/ONA Help Kit for Ferguson Journalists
    Resources, list of attorneys, etc.

    The Local News Lab: Citizen Journalism and Ferguson
    A great read on the role citizen journalists played in coverage. Many links to coverage and other stories/analysis.

    Dart Center: Working with Traumatic Imagery

    ACLU: Journalism is Under Attack and it’s Not Just Ferguson

    Source: What Data Journalism Told Us About Ferguson
    Great examples.

    What Data Told Us About Ferguson
    Infographic from Simon Rogers.


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