Kyle Ludowitz, a photojournalist living in Oakland who is a UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Masters Candidate, was reportedly attacked while documenting protests against Donald Trump in Oakland Wednesday night by four masked protesters. He described them as anarchists, and they were responding violently to his documenting them as they vandalized and looted a business.
"Particularly with the election of Donald Trump, there’s a very strong sentiment against the media,” he told the Chronicle. “I was expecting more violence from the police, so this caught me off guard.”
Most journalists have perceived the threat to their field and their persons as coming from the Trump campaign and Trump supporters, but the chaos legitimized and inspired by his election is clearly a danger to all. Ludowitz, who has covered conflicts in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine according to his website, was taken aback by what he saw at home. "I was mostly being punched in the face until I fell to the ground. I tried to protect my gear and they started kicking," he told Dailymail.com.
Ludowitz is 27 years old. Both of his cameras were destroyed in the attack, setting him back $5,000.The Committee to Protect Journalists writes that he was treated for a broken cheekbone.
"The media should never be targeted for doing the important work of documenting events of significant public interest," says Carlos Lauría, senior coordinator of the Americas program at CPJ. "Journalists have faced increasing threats and violence at political events throughout the U.S. presidential election campaign. The trend toward heightened violence targeting the press is alarming, and must be reversed."