May 2, 2021 - To help celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2021, NPPA joins Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and others to urge Congress to prioritize passage of the Journalist Protection Act and the soon to be introduced Right to Record Police Act, making it a federal crime to cause bodily harm or injury to a journalist and protect the right of journalists and the public to record and photograph police in public spaces.
The theme of the 28th celebration of this annual event is “World Press Freedom Day 2021: Information as a Public Good.” Bringing the need for journalists and a free and open press into sharp focus, nothing could better illustrate that theme and the need for such legislation in a year that saw visual journalists risk their health and safety to cover the global COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest after the murder of George Floyd. To make this year’s celebration on Monday, May 3, 2021, even more meaningful, please sign this petition in support of the proposed legislation reinforcing First Amendment rights. Also please share on social media and email your elected officials.
As stated in the NPPA Code of Ethics: “Visual journalists operate as trustees of the public. Our primary role is to report visually on the significant events and varied viewpoints in our common world. Our primary goal is the faithful and comprehensive depiction of the subject at hand. As visual journalists, we have the responsibility to document society and to preserve its history through images.”
In an age when the number of journalists assaulted, arrested, seriously injured, and interfered with by police and protestors it is more important than ever to protect and uphold those ethics where “photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding.”
As the Voice of Visual Journalists, NPPA advocates for the rights of the press and public on such things as First Amendment issues, copyright and the use of drones for newsgathering. We believe that on World Press Freedom Day and every day it is crucial to support the public’s right to receive transparent and reliable information and the concomitant right of the press to gather and disseminate information and images on matters of public concern. It is only through constant vigilance that those rights remain strong and free.
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For more information contact:
Mickey H. Osterreicher, NPPA General Counsel, [email protected], 716-983-7800