NPR standards and practices editor Mark Memmott warned staffers Monday not to participate in Saturday’s National March Against Police Violence, a protest organized in response to the killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and others:
It’s been a few years since we issued guidance “on attending marches, rallies and other public events” and there are more than a few folks who have joined NPR since then. So this is a good time to post the guidance again.
Basically, we believe journalists can go see such events, even if they’re not assigned to cover them, so long as they don’t “participate”:
That stricture also applies to non-journalists at NPR who have public roles requiring them to represent the outlet to the outside world, Memmott writes.
NPR staffers previously questioned the policy about participating in rallies when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held dueling satirical protests titled “Rally to Restore Sanity” and “March to Keep Fear Alive,” respectively.