“We need to be there to tell the story”

Seven News reporter Amelia Brace who, along with her cameraman Tim Myers was assaulted by US police in Washington yesterday, yesterday became part of the story they were reporting.

Brace and Myers were hit with a riot shield and a truncheon, pushed by police and said they had been hit by rubber bullets ahead of President Trump being photographed outside St. John’s Church with a Bible.

The incident made news on The New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News, Bloomberg, The Telegraph, Evening Standard, People, Deadline, The Straits Times, Malay Mail, NZ Herald, TVNZ and more.

Speaking to The Latest last night, Brace reiterated that media must be allowed to tell stories with safety.

“The protection of the media is not because we’re more important, more privileged or more special than anyone,” she said. “It’s because we are everyone. We need to be in there, we need to be in between the police in the protesters, which is where we were, so we can tell both sides of the story. And if we can’t do that safely, then the story won’t be told. And that is when people and democracy suffers.”

But she also said yesterday should have been a story even if they weren’t caught in the middle of it.

That’s because these people were legally and peacefully protesting half an hour before that curfew came into place,” she said.

“They had no reason to expect the police to come in at all, let alone with that sort of force and then later to find out that it was all to clear the way for Donald Trump to walk out and pose with that Bible.

“This happened in broad daylight out the front of the White House in a public park in the United States of America, which is meant to stand up for democracy. And that is not what we saw yesterday.”

Meanwhile US Ambassador to Australia Arthur B Culvahouse Jr. posted on Twitter.

PM Scott Morrison spoke to Seven and ordered the Australian Embassy in Washington to investigate the incident.

A Nine Network crew was also detained and searched by Minneapolis Police on Monday.

Numerous reports of journalists being attacked by police and arrested have been documented as protests rage across the US.

25 Comments:

  1. This incident may be more serious and some outrage justified, however Ch 7 news reporters have forfeited all sympathy by their aggressive, in-your-face attacks on people in the streets. Every news bulletin includes situations where the reporter commits low-level assault on people leaving courts, or their homes. They cannot now take the moral high ground.

  2. didn’t Australian Networks used to have an American affiliate (e.g. NBC, CBS etc) as their US news correspondent? Was this axed due to wanting ‘better’ coverage with a “local flavour” or monetary reasons etc?

  3. A lot of victim blaming in the comments here. IMO saying media should have been wearing a vest is no different to saying women who get assaulted should not be wearing short skirts.

    I don’t think there is any excuse for brutality against peaceful protesters or media, especially when they were following all guidance available.

  4. TV fanatic29

    For people saying that they should be wearing vests, there were other media there and they were not wearing vests. Also from the footage you could see that there was another camera crew infront of the police while they were to the side. They just had no time to move

  5. Police issued a legal call to disperse then advanced in a line to force the crowd to dispense, which shields, batons, tear gas and bean bag rounds. Anyone standing there would have been treated the same. This is exactly what Macron was ordering police in Paris to do every Saturday, except the French have also been using stun grenades resulting in protesters, media and paramedics being maimed. People have lost eyes, hands and feet. Nobody seems to care about that. The situation in the US is far more serious than Paris.

  6. … no, you don’t need to be in the middle of the story to tell the story … this is more about people who call themselves journalists wanting to broadcast pictures of themselves in the thick of the action when it would be more prudent (and a lot safer) to stand another few metres back and let the action itself tell the story …

    • Agree completely, it gets quite silly at times. We don’t need to see a journalist standing in front of the story, in fact it would be less distracting and make more sense if they simply just showed the footage and narrated over it.

      • Don’t quite agree. There is absolutely a role for frontline journalism as there has been across history to witness events first hand and document. There is also a role for documentary thereafter. The camera crews are there because journalists are there… otherwise it is mobile phone footage narrate by people who were not present.

        • David, sorry if I confused you, but I’m not arguing that the journalist shouldn’t be present, i’m arguing that they don’t need to stand in front of the camera to tell the story. Yes the journalist should be at the location, at safe distance, and narrate the story as it’s being shot, but from beside the camera.

          If they didn’t stand in front of the camera all the time, I suspect the level of personal risk being taken would be less for the crew as a whole, which has to be a good thing.

      • Agree, if you’re going to stand right in the way then expect to get caught up in it, but don’t cry about it later, stand three feet back and you’ll still get you’re story.

        • Specialist war correspondents do an invaluable job, they have their own memorial in Maryland, but a potentially violent civil disturbance is not a war zone so everyday media journalists should not put themselves in deliberate harms way or trespass in the process of riot control by authorities. Police should have set up news media zones for live telecasts and prohibited journalists being in the area of active operations as it could potentially incite violent skirmishes.

  7. I’ve seen the footage last night on 7 news, and it shows them to be nothing more than 2 other people in the crowd. Clearly if they had of worn vests with media on them, they wouldn’t have been attacked.

    you put yourself in the firing line, no sympathy from me.

    I am not harsh just seeing it from half of the story they want to show.

    • I mean the camerman was holding a huge camera in front of Amelia and when the police started getting aggressive they both yelled “Media!” Vests would help but it was still pretty clear they were a journo and cameraman.

    • Unlike other people in the crowd (i.e. the protestors), the 7 cameraman was holding up a big professional ENG camera which surely must have been obvious to the police. The footage from another nearby news crew clearly shows the camera was up to the cameraman’s face when he was attacked.

      Given that the whole of the last week’s events were triggered by an instance of police brutality, some police are not doing themselves any favours by their own actions.

  8. Wonder how they would get on with a workers comp claim In the real world work safety would fine employees for not having the correct safety measures in place. .

  9. I was speaking to some people in their 20’s yesterday who had no idea that Africans were brought to the US as slaves ! The same people were unaware of the Holocaust ! What are they teaching in schools these says ?

  10. I couldn’t be less interested in Australian media takes on these events. Foxtel Now has been worth the money this week, providing access to CNN and Fox News. Nobody does breaking news like Fox News, even though the coverage is peppered with dog whistles.

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