The Backstory: A reporter arrested while covering a protest faces trial Monday. Here’s why you should care.

Journalists are human, humans make mistakes, and no human journalist should be above criticism. In fact, cub reporters benefit greatly from making mistakes — it’s important for them to learn the consequences of spelling a name wrong or repeating a claim without checking it.

However, general, unfocused contempt for “the media” is dangerous to a healthy democracy.

Journalists arrested at last summer’s racial justice protests are still facing charges, jail time, for doing their job. They were reporting for you.

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Our reporters know to follow direction from police. They have to obey the same laws and orders as the general public. But they will continue to report and observe even as they are moving away from a scene.

“She was there on behalf of the public serving as the public’s eyes and ears, observing and recording, really history in the making,” Hunter said. “This was news that our readers deserve to know, and she was prevented from being there to do her job.

“This is a fundamental press freedom case. You can’t have press freedom without being able to gather the news.” —USA Today