Reporters often say they covering peaceful protests but are increasingly doing so with paid personal security guards, according to The Denver Post.
“I never felt threatened in Denver, but knowing you have that extra set of eyes on you that are there for protection, it’s very reassuring when you’re out covering that kind of thing,” local freelance video journalist Carl Filoreto told the Post. “You just never know what spark is going to incite a major confrontation.”
In fact, the dangers can come from anywhere at anytime, he added.
“When you’re standing there and he’s inciting the crowd and pointing at the media pen and hurling invectives at you, it’s pretty intimidating,” he told the Post. “You don’t know what kind of loose cannon is in the crowd.”
But the security is not intimidating or inciting the demonstrators.
“You would never know they were with us,” he concluded. “You would never know they were armed.”
Still, the deputy executive director for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, alludes to the President Donald Trump’s rhetoric as the actual source of the violence and unrest.
“The environment for news reporters and media crews has become more dangerous in recent years,” Mahoney told the Post. “You’re out there covering stories against the backdrop of people seeing the media as the ‘enemy of the people.’ There’s background music of hostility against the media before you even get out on the streets.”
The TV cameras are a target for violent demonstrators, University of Alabama’s Department of Journalism and Creative Media’s Chris Roberts told the Post.
“Crazies follow television cameras the way moths follow flames,” he said. “It’s reasonable to have some sort of security.”