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To protect and serve the common interests of its newsmedia members, to help members inform and thereby strengthen their communities, and to foster the highest ideals, ethics and traditions of journalism, a free press and the news profession.

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Legislature gives nod to bill protecting journalists covering protests

Legislature gives nod to bill protecting journalists covering protests

The Senate and Assembly approved legislation yesterday that would protect journalists covering protests and demonstrations from being assaulted, arrested, or obstructed from gathering news during these events. 

SB 629 by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) would allow a duly authorized member of the media to enter areas closed off to the public by first responders during a demonstration, march, protest or rally and create an accelerated process for a journalist to challenge being detained by an officer. 

The vote of the Assembly was 49-7 and the Senate vote was 31-2.  

CNPA, California Black Media, La Opinion, the ACLU, the First Amendment Coalition and the California Broadcasters Association are all in support. 

Law enforcement organizations are strongly opposed to the measure but Senator McGuire and his staff worked tirelessly to overcome their opposition. 

Governor Newsom has not yet indicated what action he intends to take on SB 629.