MAY 29, 2020 – The Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) stands in solidarity with CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and all journalists working on the front lines to bear witness to the facts about people, places and events in a democratic society. JAWS also stands with NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA and other journalism organizations in their condemnation of Minnesota State Patrol’s arrest of Jimenez.
While covering ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, Jimenez identified himself as a reporter to the Minneapolis state police, and yet was arrested while a fellow white reporter working not far away was left alone. When a reporter being broadcast live on national television can be so treated, we know that working journalists — especially those of color — are at risk every day for doing their jobs.
The press — the free press — is the only profession mentioned in the Constitution because its responsibility is essential in a free society. Our profession holds people and institutions accountable to our country’s democratic mission.
JAWS is encouraged by the words of investigative journalist Ida B. Wells, who just received a 2020 Pulitzer Prize posthumously: “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” No institution or system of authority should escape the journalistic lens.
ABOUT JAWS: Journalism and Women Symposium is a 501(c)3 non-profit that supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and works toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society.