Journalists condemn attack on 1st Amendment in Burlington
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Journalism Alliance, of which WCAX-TV is a member, has issued a statement condemning what alliance members see as acts of censorship and intimidation by a group of protesters in Burlington.
At issue is the protesters' response to a story in Seven Days newspaper last week about the occupation of Battery Park and ongoing racial justice protests. Seven Days says after the story was published, hundreds of copies of the free newspaper disappeared from newsstands. Later that night, some of the protesters marched to Main Street and burned some of the copies in the street.
The Vermont Journalism Alliance, which works cooperatively on issues of free speech and public access to government records, issued the following statement:
“The Vermont Journalism Alliance condemns the attempts to bully and intimidate Seven Days by some individuals involved in ongoing racial justice protests in Burlington. Hoarding and burning newspapers is an act of censorship. It is meant to strike fear in journalists covering the important public dialogue around racial justice and police brutality. We call on leaders of the Burlington protest to refrain from attempting to curtail the media’s constitutional freedoms as they fight for their own. We acknowledge the role media has played in systemic racism over the centuries, and our organizations are committed to breaking that cycle in our coverage.”
The Vermont Journalism Alliance includes the following news organizations in radio, television, print and online media:
- Seven Days
- Valley News
- Vermont Public Radio
- Vermont Community Newspaper Group
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