NAHJ President condemns physical attack by protestor against NAHJ Member

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Hugo Balta of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) condemned the attack on journalist Gary Cooper by an anti-fascist protestor during the “Unite the Right” rally.  Gary Cooper is a former NAHJ national board member and a current journalist with North Carolina TV station WTVD.

Cooper was accompanied by WTVD journalist DeJuan Hoggard were in Charlottesville to cover anti-fascist demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a white nationalist at the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.  Cooper was filming a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2018, when one of the demonstrators attempted to block his camera with a sign and successfully cut the camera’s audio cable.

“We are relieved to know our colleague and friend was not injured in the process of simply doing his job,” said Hugo Balta, NAHJ President.  “While media censorship exists globally, it is imperative that not only our country’s first amendment rights are protected, but the journalists who dedicate their lives to those rights.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker logged the incident as a ‘physical attack’ against a U.S. journalist.  Details and documentation of the incident can be found here.  In 2017, NAHJ began their partnership to help launch the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker and supplement the NAHJ Ni Uno Más campaign, which focuses on impunity for crimes against journalists in Latin America.


About NAHJ The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is the largest organization of Latino journalists in the United States and dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. The mission of NAHJ is to increase the number of Latinos in the newsrooms and to work toward fair and accurate representation of Latinos in news media. Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists. NAHJ has approximately 2,300 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators. For more information please visit or follow on Twitter @NAHJ.

Media Contact:
BA Snyder
Veritas Group for NAHJ