RTDNA Condemns The Assault Of Reporter

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

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Later this year, the RTDNA is launching the First Amendment Taskforce.

Today, the organization condemned a politician’s assault against The Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs.

“If the criminal charges are proven true, this would be an outrageous escalation of the recent trend toward elected officials and those seeking elected office obstructing and even, now, assaulting reporters who are merely trying to do their jobs,” said Dan Shelley, incoming executive director, who is spearheading the Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.

On Wednesday, Montana republican congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, assaulted The Guardian political reporter, Ben Jacobs during an assignment. According to reports, Jacobs was asking Gianforte about the impact of the recently-passed House health care bill. Gianforte was cited with misdemeanor assault.

According to a release, “the RTDNA has heard from members and other industry leaders about an increasing vitriol against reporters at the national and local levels. This has manifested itself in ways ranging from more acerbic online comments, to the phrase “enemy of the people” being written into legal documents attempting to have a chilling effect on responsible journalism, to verbal and physical assaults on local broadcast and digital reports.”

Last week, RTDNA joined the National Press Club in calling on government and other public officials to go easy on the anti-news media rhetoric.