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NLGJA LA Signs Letter of Support for SB98

Dear Governor Gavin Newsom,

Our organizations strongly support Senate Bill 98, which will protect journalists covering
protests, demonstrations and civil unrest.

We are part of an unprecedented coalition of press associations and labor unions, which
collectively represent thousands of California journalists.

During the past two years, working conditions for journalists have steadily deteriorated across
the state. While covering protests, many of our newspaper, television, radio, digital, freelance
and student media colleagues were arrested, detained or injured by law enforcement. We have
documented more than 50 such incidents in California during the 12-month period from May
2020 through April 2021. These journalists were just trying to do their job.

SB 98, introduced by Sen. Mike McGuire, will extend existing state protections for journalists
working in disaster areas and apply them to civil disturbances. This is a modest solution that
ensures parity with long-established statutes and principles.

Earlier this year, our organizations joined a conversation already in progress in Sacramento
about SB 98. Since then, we have shared our concerns and participated in the amendment
process. We appreciate this opportunity and the resulting bill.

We also listened carefully to law enforcement concerns, and supported changes made to
address several hypothetical situations.

Now, we ask you to clarify the law and rectify a problem that has repeatedly occurred in
California and placed journalists in harm’s way.

Please turn SB 98 into law. Doing so will support the First Amendment and the vital activities of
the press, while protecting the people’s right to receive information regarding matters of public

National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association – L.A. Chapter

Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles
Asian American Journalists Association, San Diego
Asian American Journalists Association, San Francisco Bay Area
Californians Aware
CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California
IBEW Local 45
Journalism and Women Symposium, Southern California (JAWS SoCal)
Los Angeles Press Club
Media Alliance
Media Guild of the West, NewsGuild-CWA Local 39213
National Association of Black Journalists of Los Angeles
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
National Press Photographers Association
National Writers Union
Online News Association Local Los Angeles
Orange County Press Club
Pacific Media Workers Guild, The NewsGuild-CWA Local 39521
Radio Television Digital News Association
Society of Professional Journalists, Greater Los Angeles Chapter
Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter
Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Chapter
We make KCRW
Writers Guild of America, East