Reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian to Donate Broken Eyeglasses to Newseum

Ben Jacobs with his new glasses. Photograph: Lucia Graves for The Guardian

A powerful symbol of the threats journalists face while reporting the news — even in the United States — will go on display in the Newseum in June.  Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs will loan the Newseum his eyeglasses that were broken when he posed a question to Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte last week.

On May 24, Jacobs asked Gianforte, a Republican, a question about the Republican health care plan. Gianforte reportedly tackled Jacobs to the floor, yelling at him to “Get the hell out!” of his office.  A bruised Jacobs left in an ambulance, his glasses broken. Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault. The next day, Gianforte won the special election, and he apologized for his actions toward Jacobs.

Jacobs has acquired a new pair of glasses, and he will deliver his broken pair to the Newseum. The assault on Jacobs was just the latest in a series of attempts in 2017 to suppress press freedom in the United States.

Jacobs’s story inspired a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for new glasses. His new eyeglasses were covered by his health insurance, and Jacobs says he will donate the funds that were raised in his name to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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