The shooting death of Orlando TV reporter Dylan Lyons is part of a pattern. At NYT, Michael Levenson and Christine Chung report:

The news of his death on the job punctuated a “new and alarming” increase in threats, harassment, and violence against local reporters in the United States, said Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University. “In the past, we’ve thought of physical danger as something that accompanies war or high-risk investigative reporters. This is different,” Mr. Shapiro said. “What we’re now seeing around the country is local newsrooms feeling and experiencing more danger.” The uptick has meant that newsrooms now “increasingly feel they need the kind of training and vigilance that you would once have assumed only those journalists venturing into hostile environments overseas.”

Chris Post, a journalism safety educator who has trained thousands of local and national reporters, including some at The New York Times, said that over the last 10 years, domestic news gathering had in some ways become as dangerous as reporting in international war zones. And yet few local reporters receive basic safety training. He said that local news managers should tell reporters who are covering crime or other local stories that if they feel unsafe, “they can abandon the assignment or do it from another location.”


“It’s O.K. for them to step back,” he said. “It’s O.K. for them to leave the scene.”


Such advice might be anathema to some local journalists, who pride themselves on reporting directly from crime scenes and, in Florida especially, standing in hurricane-force winds for the TV cameras. “It’s part of our jobs; we know the risks,” said Louis Aguirre, an anchor and reporter at WPLG-TV in Miami. He called the death of Mr. Lyons a “gut punch” but added: “I don’t think this is going to change the way we cover news here in South Florida. I don’t think journalists are going to think twice about going into situations like this.”