Dem Lawmakers Pushing Journalist Protection Act

Citing President Donald Trump’s continued criticism of the press, Democrats have reintroduced the Journalist Protection Act, The Washington Times is reporting.

The bill would make it a federal crime to intentionally assault a journalist “in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from newsgathering.” The proposed legislation was offered by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. And Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the newspaper said.

“We must protect journalists in every corner of our country if they are attacked physically while doing their job, and send a strong, clear message that such violence will not be tolerated,” Swalwell said. “That is what my bill, the Journalist Protection Act, would do.”

And in a tweet, Swalwell added: “From tweeting #FakeNews to proclaiming his contempt for the media during campaign rallies, the President has created a hostile environment for members of the press. We must protect journalists from violence by sending a strong, clear message that attacks will not be tolerated.”

The Society of Professional Journalists welcomed the bill.

It tweeted: “SPJ applauds @SenBlumenthal, @Senator Menendez and @ericswalwell for reintroducing the Journalist Protection Act, which would make it a federal crime to knowingly assault a reporter engaged in the act of newsgathering.”

Swalwell and Blumenthal had first introduced the act in 2018, but the effort died in the Republican-controlled Congress, The Washington Times noted.

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