Apr. 26, 2019  

“Detained” Webinar Covers Journalists Rights, Dos and Don’ts

For the third year in a row, SPJ Florida hosted an educational webinar touching on hot topics in the journalism field.

This year, the chapter partnered with the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) to host a webinar on how to handle being arrested or detained.

The panel was filled with distinguished guests: Cody Weddle, who was detained for 10 hours in Venezuela; Sarah Matthews, a staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Press Freedom; Nick Swyter, a journalism program associate at the Knight Foundation; and Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel at NPPA. The panel was moderated by Suzette Speaks, who sits on the board of directors of SPJ Florida.

From left, Cody Weddle Nick Swyter, Sarah Matthews and Mickey Osterreicher

“We’ve heard from several attendees since and they were really enthusiastic about the things they learned,” said NPPA Southeast Region assistant director Zak Bennett. “I don’t think this webinar could have come at a better time, with our current political climate, and I think it was the beginning of a much larger conversation to come and awakened awareness and preparedness among our community.”

In the past, the chapter has hosted webinars on reporting on the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact of #MeToo in newsrooms. This year, the chapter partnered with the local region of NPPA after Weddle’s arrest. Bennett, a freelance photographer, was also detained twice in the last year.

“We purposefully choose to do these online not only because of the size of our state, but so that people beyond Florida could participate and learn,” said SPJ Florida President Christiana Lilly. “This is something that impacts journalists everywhere.”

Unfortunately, due to a technical error the webinar was not recorded. However, the panelists all provided guides and important links that journalists can refer to:



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