Well I noticed today that a person of BBC was violently attacked by someone in the US, obviously there exist heavy imagery from this. So I am wondering: why is this not followed up on by the authorities to protect the media? And why is there not being made an example of such offenders? Since everyone knows the media are the guardians of the democracy, an attack on media is an attack on democracy.

History has shown that only after media got "stronger" people could protect themselves against monarchies by reporting what happens in the government.

Is this because there's still the attitude of "wild west" in the USA where people have to stand up for themselves? Or do the US not feel media is important to protect democracy?

  • Who was attacked and when? – Deolater Feb 12 '19 at 13:26
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    I imagine it's this event from last night's rally in El Paso: theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/12/… – Geobits Feb 12 '19 at 13:28
  • @Geobits indeed, but that's a last in a long list of reports of attacks on media. – paul23 Feb 12 '19 at 13:38
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    This is a loaded question, like "will you ever stop smoking crack?"... – dandavis Feb 12 '19 at 20:44

Violence against media isn't any different than violence against anyone in the U.S. Those in the media like to portray themselves as the 4th branch or the defenders of democracy, in reality they have had a mixed record. The media gets their right to speech because they are part of the people, they aren't a special class above the people. The El Paso incident is new at the time of this answer, and it's likely that the attacker will see some sort of charges in the near future. The important factor is that attacking a cameraman is not different in any way than attacking any other attendee.

The media is like any other group though and they report attacks against their own more heavily than attacks against others. Since they also are the reporters they create a lot of noise when events like this happen. There aren't special protection for media beyond what any other citizens is entitled to. The elevated access that the media enjoys is the result of a practical reality that you can't fit everyone into a briefing room. The press/media are capable of spreading news to a wider audience so they are granted increased access so tens or hundreds of people can inform millions.

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    Actually, the media does have special rights. Freedom of the press is mentioned explicitly in the First Amendment to the US constitution. – Obie 2.0 Feb 12 '19 at 14:49
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    @Obie2.0 freedom of the press is granted to the people, not some select group that calls themselves the press. You don't gain additional rights should you be hired by the New York Times, than if you were publishing your own newspaper. You may be granted privileged access as a times reporter, but that is an economic reality not an inherent right of the "the press." – Ryathal Feb 12 '19 at 15:32
  • Indeed, but if you publish your own newspaper, you become the media. You become part of that "special class," and you're protected by freedom of the press. You imply that the right to free press is simply derived from freedom of speech, but that's not the case. – Obie 2.0 Feb 12 '19 at 15:34
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    @Obie2.0 no, the press does not have "special rights". What the 1st Amendment says is Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. The government can't make any laws that specifically restrict the press more than anyone else. They get no other benefits above the rest of America. – RWW Feb 12 '19 at 16:01
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    Freedom of Press is a protection against Government action against the Press. It doesn't immunize them from criticism be it pointed remarks about the present state of journalism ethics or shouting "Fake News" at a famous journalist. In fact, Freedom of the Press was not about newspapers, but the Printing (in the day called pressing as well) of information of any kind, including books, poetry, news, anti-British Propaganda, Wedding invites, ect. – hszmv Feb 12 '19 at 16:05

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