Radio & Television News Association

Sunday, May 13, 2007

RTNDA Calls for Probe of Police

RTNDA Calls for Probe of Police Treatment of Media at Los Angeles Rally

WASHINGTON -- The Radio-Television News Directors Association is expressing concern about apparent police mistreatment of journalists covering the May 1 immigration demonstration in Los Angeles and calls for an investigation into activities that hindered with the coverage of a news event.

Witnesses gathered at MacArthur Park report seeing members of the Los Angeles Police Department harassing journalists and interfering with the newsgathering process. Published reports indicate officers addressed the media specifically and said they were there illegally and television coverage shows police beating reporters in the crowd.

RTNDA fully supports a statement issued earlier today by the Radio and Television News Association, an organization of radio and television journalists in the Los Angeles area, calling for an immediate and complete investigation.

“Under no circumstances should police interfere with newsgathering when there is no jeopardy to reporters or demonstrators,” says RTNDA president Barbara Cochran. “As a national organization we fully support our colleagues in Los Angeles as they pursue a remedy to yesterday’s events.”

RTNDA endorses training for law enforcement in the role journalists play and the treatment they should receive in covering news events. The association has resources that could be made available for such training.

RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network news professionals in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.


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