Journalists Advocacy Group Issues Safety Guidelines for Inauguration (Dreamstime)
By Brian Trusdell | Thursday, 14 January 2021 04:54 PM
A journalists advocacy group has issued safety guidelines for reporters and photographers planning to cover the inauguration of Joe Biden next week, making the recommendations in light of riots that have occurred over the past year in numerous cities and last week in Washington.
''Based on the levels of violence and tactics used by both police and protesters at U.S. protests in 2020, and during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, journalists reporting from upcoming political events and protests should be aware of and consider the … risks,'' the Committee to Protect Journalists said on its website.
The statement said there are reports of scheduled protests and counter-protests, which could lead to confrontations and clashes.
It suggested avoiding wearing lanyards around the neck or straps that release when pulled because they could lead to media credentials being stolen; advised against ''military'' or ''tactical'' clothing that would tend to make one not ''blend in;'' recommended using battery-powered equipment without cables which could be used as a weapon.
The CPJ also warned about the possible exposure to tear gas, citing an NPR report that it could increase susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.