Governor Gavin Newsom of California has signed a bill that protects journalists covering protests.
According to supporters who applauded the signing, amid a surge of unrest and rallies around the country in the aftermath of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police, an increasing number of reporters were pepper-sprayed, arrested, or assaulted by law officials.
According to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, which lobbied for S.B. 98, journalists of color were more frequently subjected to violent interference.
Journalists on the job are not obligated to disperse when police urge them to, but Newsom's measure, S.B. 98, strengthens legal safeguards for reporters in the state.
According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the legislation clarifies a journalist's right to access protest scenes, prohibits law enforcement from intentionally assaulting or obstructing those gathering news, and codifies that reporters cannot be legally cited for staying in such locations to do their jobs.