July 2, 2018
Five dead in targeted shooting at the Capital Gazette
Five employees—including four journalists—were killed at the Capital Gazette, a local Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper, on June 28 in a targeted attack against the publication. The victims were editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, staff writer John McNamara, special publications writer Wendi Winters, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith. Following the shooting, Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis tweeted: “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.” To learn more about this incident, read RSF’s publication: “RSF devastated by deadly shooting in local Maryland newspaper office”
Milo Yiannopoulos calls for gunning down journalists
Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor and prominent far-right commentator, told a reporter at The Observer over text message that he “can’t wait for vigilantes to start gunning journalists down,” claiming it was his “standard response to requests for comment.” The alt-right provocateur has been the source of intense controversy in the past. Yiannopoulos’ comments—which were published two days prior to a shooting at a local Maryland newsroom that left four journalists dead—received immense backlash on social media. Yiannopolous responded on Facebook saying his statement about violence against reporters was a “joke.”
Reality winner sentenced to 63 months in prison
NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner pleaded guilty under the Espionage Act on June 26 to leaking classified information about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. She will face 63 months in prison and an additional three years of supervised release. To learn more about this incident, read RSF’s publication: “Whistleblower Reality Winner pleads guilty to violating Espionage Act.”
ICE whistleblower’s CBS interview interrupted by DHS agents
Agents for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) arrived at the home of former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson James Schwab and interrupted his recorded television interview with CBS’s Jamie Yuccas on June 27 while the two discussed his reasons for resigning from ICE. Schwab’s resignation was handed in after he was asked to perpetuate a lie about the mayor of Oakland, California, who warned the Oakland community about an upcoming ICE raid in February that resulted in 232 arrests. A week after the arrests, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the mayor’s statement allowed over 800 undocumented immigrants to escape, which Schwab describes in the CBS interview as “completely false.” The interview recording shows two DHS agents appear at Schwab’s front door to ask him questions about the leak.
Journalists covering “Occupy ICE” protest verbally attacked by protesters
Multiple reporters were harassed while covering a June 28 protest in Portland, Oregon, against family separation at the US-Mexico border. KGW reporter Maggie Vespa was grabbed and shoved amid torrential heckling from protestors. One of the protesters shouted at her with a bullhorn, “We don’t want you here! We don’t trust you anyway!” KATU reporter Genevieve Reaume was also insulted, with one protestor making hurtful comments about her appearance. Reaume responded on Facebook to the incident: “As journalists, we share every side to a story. We are unbiased fact finders, telling the stories that matter to our community.”
The United States ranks 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year.
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