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When your press pass is a target

Tony Webster/Flickr

Journalist Georgia Fort was maced and shot with a rubber bullet last week.

And she counts herself lucky she escaped with only a bruise.

First AmendmentCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Despite the First Amendment to the Constitution, and a restraining order issued last Friday,  the Department of Public Safety and Minnesota State Patrol officers were still engaging in “widespread intimidation, violence and other misconduct directed at journalists.”  (You can read the letter sent to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz here.)

Journalist Georgia Fort reporting from the Mother's March last July

Georgia Fort heads a team of independent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) journalists producing stories for Racial Reckoning: The Arc of Justice project. It airs around 8:50am, right after National Native News on KUMD. Created in collaboration with AMPERS, an organization of which KUMD is a part, the initiative covers "the trials of the former Minneapolis police officers charged with the murder of George Floyd, the community’s response, and the changes needed to create a more just society."

But the treatment of the news media by law enforcement is just the tip of the iceberg. Fort says we're living in turbulent times and communities are also looking at how their news media is working in the larger context of the system.  Media reform is needed, she says, as journalists struggle to find balance "between fair and human."

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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