U.S. Democratic Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, along with California Congressman Eric Swalwell introduced the Journalist Protection Act, which seeks to make physical attacks and threats of such attacks against journalists a federal crime.
“Over 200 years ago, our Founding Fathers had the foresight to recognize the importance of a free press to a fledgling democracy. Now, more than ever, their importance can’t be overstated,” Menendez said.
“Despite the dangerous rhetoric coming from the Trump Administration, and yet another disturbing attack on a journalist covering a MAGA rally, a free press will never be the enemy of the people. A free and independent press—a strong Fourth Estate—is essential to the American people and our democracy, ensuring an informed public and holding those in power accountable. In the spirit of Sunshine Week we must work to make government more transparent and to protect the journalists dedicated to ensuring that reality.”
“The Journalist Protection Act makes it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from newsgathering for a media organization,” Menendez said in a statement.
“It represents a clear statement that assaults against people engaged in reporting is unacceptable, and helps ensure law enforcement is able to punish those who interfere with newsgathering,” he added.