Journalism Pakistan
Latest:
Indian author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution over 2010 Kashmir remarksIWMF offers funding opportunities for female journalists worldwidePTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversyYouTube unveils new features to boost creator engagement and monetizationJournalist Sophia Huang Xueqin sentenced to five years in China for subversionFarewell to Harpal Singh Bedi, a giant in Indian sports journalismPakistan Task Force on Journalist Murders formed to ensure justiceImran Riaz released after court discharges fraud caseAmeen Rajput's tragic end highlights struggles of jobless journalistsFunding available for innovative data-driven journalism projectsJournalist Hiba Abu Taha sentenced to one year in prison in JordanCable operators block four news channels in India's Andhra Pradesh state post-election

Journalist questioning cabinet official arrested in US

 JournalismPakistan.com
 May 10, 2017

Journalist questioning cabinet official arrested in US

NEW YORK - The arrest of a journalist in the US state of West Virginia while asking a question of Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price Tuesday is an affront to press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday.

Police arrested Dan Heyman, a broadcast journalist with Public News Service West Virginia, and charged him with "willful disruption of government processes" after he shouted questions at Price and Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, at the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston, according to media reports and police documents. The two officials were leaving a private meeting on opioid addiction when Heyman repeatedly questioned them about a draft law on health care.

"The arrest of a journalist trying to ask a question in the public interest is a clear affront to press freedom," said Alexandra Ellerbeck, senior US and Americas researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists. "West Virginia authorities should drop all charges against Dan Heyman immediately and respect journalists' right to question government officials."

Heyman was released on bail, pending trial, from the South Central Regional Jail late Tuesday evening, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia. In a news conference after his release, Heyman said that he held his phone out to Price and asked him repeatedly whether domestic violence would be treated as a pre-existing condition that health insurance companies would no longer need to cover under draft legislation sponsored by the Republican Party that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4.

"At some point they decided I was too persistent in trying to ask this question and do my job, so they arrested me," Heyman said in the news conference.

A video of the arrest shows Heyman being led away by officers with the Division of Protective Services Capitol Police. The criminal complaint filed following his arrest, which CPJ has reviewed, alleges that Heyman "was aggressively breaching the secret service agents" and "causing a disturbance by yelling questions."

"I've never had a client arrested for talking too loud," Heyman's lawyer, Tim DePiero, said at the news conference.

"He wasn't arrested for asking a question. It is the actions of this individual that set him apart from the other reporters trying to cover the event," Lawrence Messina, a spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, which oversees the West Virginia Capitol Police, told CPJ. – Committee to Protect Journalists/ Image: Dan Heyman (left), addresses the press after his release

PTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversyPTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversy

 June 15, 2024:  PTV Sports has terminated Rashid Latif's contract, sparking controversy and speculation. Despite a recent extension, Latif's depar...

Pakistan Task Force on Journalist Murders formed to ensure justicePakistan Task Force on Journalist Murders formed to ensure justice

 June 14, 2024:  Freedom Press Unlimited, in collaboration with the government and civil society activists, has launched the Pakistan Task Force on...

Imran Riaz released after court discharges fraud caseImran Riaz released after court discharges fraud case

 June 14, 2024:  Journalist Imran Riaz Khan was released by Lahore police after a court discharged him from a fraud case. The court found insuffici...

Ameen Rajput's tragic end highlights struggles of jobless journalistsAmeen Rajput's tragic end highlights struggles of jobless journalists

 June 14, 2024:  Journalist Ameen Rajput's tragic death underscores the severe economic hardships faced by unemployed journalists. His story highli...

Journalists protest controversial defamation law in Punjab AssemblyJournalists protest controversial defamation law in Punjab Assembly

 June 13, 2024:  Journalists stage a walkout during the Punjab Assembly's budget session in protest against a new defamation law, highlighting conc...

Journalist Sanaullah Khan's bold question stuns post-budget press conferenceJournalist Sanaullah Khan's bold question stuns post-budget press conference

 June 13, 2024:  At a post-budget press conference in Islamabad, journalist Sanaullah Khan's pointed question about budget allocation and accountab...

Finance minister announces restoration of health insurance scheme for journalists and media workersFinance minister announces restoration of health insurance scheme for journalists and media workers

 June 12, 2024:  Federal Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb announces the restoration of a health insurance scheme for journalists and media worke...

Imran Riaz's arrest sparks legal battle Imran Riaz's arrest sparks legal battle

 June 12, 2024:  Journalist Imran Riaz Khan was arrested at Lahore Airport while leaving for Hajj and remanded in police custody for one day on fra...

Newsroom
Indian author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution over 2010 Kashmir remarks

Indian author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution over 2010 Kashmir remarks

 June 16, 2024 Indian author Arundhati Roy is facing prosecution over her controversial remarks on Kashmir made in 2010. The legal action highlights ongoing tensions and freedom of speech issues in India.

Shouting matches and disrespect: The new face of press conferences

Shouting matches and disrespect: The new face of press conferences

 June 16, 2024 Discover the reasons behind the chaos and lack of decorum in today's press conferences. Explore how aggressive journalists and the erosion of professional ethics are turning these events into shouting matches.

IWMF offers funding opportunities for female journalists worldwide

IWMF offers funding opportunities for female journalists worldwide

 June 15, 2024 Female and nonbinary journalists can apply for the Howard G. Buffett Fund through the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) to support their reporting projects and professional development. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin sentenced to five years in China for subversion

Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin sentenced to five years in China for subversion

 June 15, 2024 The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the five-year prison sentence given to journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin by a Chinese court for "inciting subversion of state power." CPJ urges the Chinese government to release her immediately.

Farewell to Harpal Singh Bedi, a giant in Indian sports journalism

Farewell to Harpal Singh Bedi, a giant in Indian sports journalism

 June 15, 2024 Renowned Indian sports journalist Harpal Singh Bedi has passed away, leaving a legacy of razor-sharp reporting and heartfelt stories. Colleagues and friends pay tribute to his indomitable spirit and immense contribution to sports journalism in India.