A veteran journalist was harassed Friday while live on-air reporting from the dismantling of the “Freedom Convoy” protests in Ottawa, and handled the ordeal in a remarkably professional manner.
CTV journalist Evan Solomon was doing a live-hit when a protester interrupted by standing in front of the camera.
“What’s the deal here sir, you’re not letting me do my job?” Solomon asks.
“You’re spreading lies, dude,” the man responds.
After a few moments, the man begins repeatedly screaming “Move back! Move back!” at Solomon.
“You get a little sense of what’s going on here,” Solomon says, raising his eyebrows.
As the man continues yelling, Solomon looks at him and says “no.” He adds it’s normal to see high tensions during large-scale demonstrations before throwing it back to the newsroom.
— Brittany Grunig (@b_grunig) February 18, 2022
This is far from the first time a reporter has been rudely interrupted live on air (female journalists have been targets of FHRITP harassment for years), but many journalists and newsrooms say vicious attacks on media for doing their job have gotten worse amid anti-mandate demonstrations.
CBC published an opinion piece by Brodie Fenlon saying that in 2022 journalists are facing more threats for doing their jobs than ever. The Hill Times also published a piece this month detailing reporters’ safety concerns after an intense week reporting on the “Freedom Convoy.”
The Canadian Association of Journalists also hosted a livestream event on February 14 discussing harassment journalists have encountered while covering “Freedom Convoy” protests.
We’re grappling with how to handle the rise in anti-media vitriol directed at Canadian journalists.
— Canadian Association of Journalists (@caj) February 14, 2022
On Friday, police moved in to clear protesters and at least 70 people were arrested.