Earlier this year, a coalition of sixteen journalism associations and first amendment groups met with law enforcement to express frustration about press freedoms after the murder of George Floyd, and to show support for a new bill called SB98.
The bill would allow journalists to operate in closed areas (an unprecedented step) including riot areas after a dispersal order has been issued. However, law enforcement officials pressured lawmakers to add an amendment last week that would require journalists to get permission from a commanding officer before being allowed in closed areas, which, for the journalists that endorsed the bill, is considered a step backward. In recent months, law enforcement agencies like the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been lobbying for SB98. Sheriff’s deputies tackled and arrested KPCC’s own reporter, Josie Huang, as she was covering a protest last fall. Journalists cite the incident as one of the reasons the coalition formed.
Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about SB98 and the debate over the bill in Sacramento. Questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.