(New York, NY) — PEN America today joined calls for California Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign SB 98, a bill that would put into law protection for journalists covering protests and other demonstrations. PEN America’s Summer Lopez, senior director of free expression programs, said the following:

“Governor Newsom has a unique opportunity to protect journalists’ rights to cover protests at a moment where those rights are under increasing threat. Signing this bill would send an important signal in support of press freedom and protest rights, and set a valuable model that other states should follow. We call on Governor Newsom to ensure that law enforcement can’t interfere with journalists’ rights to cover protests—or with the public’s right to know.”

PEN America has routinely spoken out on behalf of journalists who’ve been targeted by law enforcement at demonstrations, and has supported strong legislation protecting reporters in California and across the country.