It's a challenging time to be reporter in the US, and as the events of the last week show, it's also increasingly dangerous. The mob that swarmed the Capitol last Wednesday also attacked a photographer and smashed camera equipment. When they were driven out, reporters saw that they had left behind a noose made from a camera cord and a note written on a door saying "MURDER THE MEDIA ."
No journalist was injured in DC, but now some of the same people and groups behind that event are planning further actions across the country. Where I live and work in Minnesota, an FBI report concluded that there is a "credible threat," of violence by an anti government group at the State Capitol in St. Paul leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
And the far right is not the only source of danger. A lot of my work, for publications like The Guardian, The Washington Post and others, has centered on police shooting and the protests that follow. While covering the aftermath of George Floyd's killing this summer, I was shot in the face with a police projectile while reporting on a protest — a doctor later told me I could have lost vision in my right eye had I not sought treatment quickly. In another incident, a colleague and I were interviewing a group of men when someone opened fire on them from down the street, with a man in the group near us returning fire. My colleague and I ran and ducked for cover.
I will be on assignment this weekend and next weekend, ready to cover any news as needed, and I would fell safer with body armor and, if needed, a helmet. That equipment will likely continue to be useful for future stories.
Like thousands of other journalists, I was laid off last year as part of cuts related to COVID-19. Getting by as a freelancer is not easy. I've never asked for help before, but in case, as the danger is clear and the need (body armor) is concrete, I decided it was worth putting out a call.
The type of Body armor typically used by journalists can cost as much as $745 , but I was able to find a supplier of used, but still fully functional body armor that is less expensive. I'm asking $400 to cover the cost as well as taxes and other related fees.
- Adam Miller
- Caitlin Collins
- Kelleen Corrigan
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