Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have further protected journalists covering demonstrations from physical or verbal obstruction by a law enforcement officer.
The state Senate bill proposed to protect “a duly authorized member of any news service” from intentional assault, interference or obstruction from law enforcement. The bill also would have protected a journalist from citation over “the failure to disperse, a violation of a curfew, or a violation of paragraph” while reporting in an area closed to the public.
Newsom vetoed the bill Wednesday, the last day for him to take action on bills passed by the Legislature this year.
The governor’s veto message said that media access is “essential to a functioning democracy,” but he took issue with the definition of a “duly authorized representative of the news media,” calling it too broad a phrase that could allow “white nationalists, extreme anarchists or other fringe groups with an online presence” to be protected by the bill.
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