he Australian Cinematographer's Society (ACS) has recognized the Seven Network news coverage of the 2020 Lafayette Square demonstration, filmed by Timothy Myers ACS alongside journalist Amelia Brace, who were assaulted by police during a live broadcast outside the White House.
"Beat the Press: Journalism under attack" was awarded the coveted Gold Tripod in the Neil Davis International News category, presented by Ray Martin AM and National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS. The reporting was also the recipient of an Excellence in Journalism: Walkley Award.
The team were broadcasting live to Seven’s Sunrise on June 1 when Myers was assaulted with an armored shield, and Brace hit with a truncheon, as police violently cleared Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. Despite their injuries, the pair went on to broadcast non-stop for some 12 hours to Australia across Sunrise, 7NEWS and The Latest.
Myers’ images of the protest police aggressively clearing peaceful protesters were hailed as depicting a violation of constitutional rights and an infringement on press freedoms. Brace later addressed a US congressional committee about the incident as part of a broader investigation into the police response to peaceful protesters that day, where she made a stand on the importance of a free press.
"My pictures would mean very little without the words from correspondent Amelia Brace. In moments that were highly volatile, she highlighted to the world an unprecedented scene that was violent and confronting to both protesters and the media working in Lafayette Square that day. And I'm still in awe of Amelia's subsequent congressional testimony defending press freedoms, which is something that we should all be paying attention to." - Timothy Myers ACS.
The award is named in honor of Neil Brian Davis (1934–1985). An Australian combat cameraman who was recognised for his work as a photojournalist during the Vietnam War and other conflicts in the region. He was killed in Bangkok on 9 September 1985, while filming a minor Thai coup attempt that ended after only a few hours.
Davis and his American soundman Bill Latch were covering an Army radio tower that had been seized. A pro-coup tank protected the entrance gate to the tower. Davis set up his camera facing the tank and got ready to deliver his report. Without warning, the tank fired a round in their direction. Davis and Latch were fatally wounded by shrapnel. Davis died instantly, and his camera fell to the ground, still running. The last scene his camera recorded was the dying Latch crawling for cover.