Seven News reporter Amelia Brace has appeared before a US congressional hearing which is investigating police actions near the White House, earlier this month.
Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were struck by police when reporting on protests in Washington DC’s Lafayette Square. Following police clearing the area President Donald Trump appeared in a photo opportunity outside St John’s Episcopal Church, holding a bible.
Brace told the committee she was still 30 minutes inside of a curfew -for which Media were exempt- and been given no warning from law enforcement that the area was to be cleared. She also shouted “Media” to police as she was being struck.
The incident sparked international headlines and condemnation, with the Australian government ordered the Australian Embassy in Washington to investigate the incident.
“As a reporter I have no interest in becoming the story, but over recent weeks, many of us have been left with no choice. I’ve been shocked to see how many journalists have been attacked, beaten and detained just for doing their jobs.
“Covering protests does carry unavoidable risks, but the media’s role is essential. We don’t just have a right to be there, we have an obligation.
“As Australian journalists, we are the eyes and the ears of our people. In this case witnessing civil unrest in the capital of our most powerful and closest ally.
“It is crucial to democracy that journalists be allowed to do their job freely and safely and that is certainly something we should expect in the world’s greatest democracy.”