January 18, 2017

Several advocacy organizations are making tips, hotlines and resources available to journalists to help protect them while covering Donald Trump’s inauguration this week.

Below, you’ll find them gathered them here in one place, separated by topic.

Related training: Access denied: Your rights when government shuts media out

Know your rights

As it did during coverage of Ferguson, the National Press Photographers Association published tips reminding journalists of their rights while reporting in public places. Those tips, from NPPA General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher, include maintaining situational awareness, clear identification and thinking ahead.

In the case of an arrest, all personal belongings are confiscated by law enforcement, so it is wise to have important information and phone numbers written in permanent ink somewhere on your body so that it is available even after arrest.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reminds journalists to carry government-issued identification and have cash at all times.

Many misdemeanors in D.C. are handled through a “post-and-forfeiture” system, where the arrestee forfeits money to resolve charges immediately. Regardless of the name, these charges can be disputed in court later, and the payment is not considered a conviction or admission of the crime. Journalists should carry $100 in cash for such payments.

Some other basic rights to keep in mind:


Legal assistance

Several organizations have set up hotlines and email addresses to report violations, abuse and get information about journalist arrests.



The Committee to Protect Journalists released a safety advisory last week for journalists covering the inauguration and protests. Some advice:


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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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