'Guardian' Reporter Ben Jacobs Has New Glasses. Here's What He's Doing With His Broken Pair.

He's also donating the money raised to pay for them.

Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs has a new pair of glasses. His old, broken pair will have a new home at an important landmark dedicated to recognizing and protecting the work of journalists.

Jacobs tweeted last week that his glasses were broken by Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana's congressional seat. The reporter said Gianforte "body slammed" him when he tried to ask a question. The Guardian released audio of the encounter, and a crew from Fox News corroborated Jacobs' account.

Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, and after an initial statement that attempted to downplay his responsibility and place blame on Jacobs, he apologized. The day after the incident, Gianforte went on to win the special election against Democratic candidate Robert Quist.

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The Guardian revealed this week that Jacobs received an eye exam and was fitted for a new pair of glasses, to be covered by the paper and his company health insurance. His old glasses will be headed to Washington, D.C., where the Newseum, an interactive museum that traces the history of communication, requested to display them.

According to its website, the Newseum, which reopened in 2008, "promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition." 

Protecting these values is especially vital in today's political climate, as President Donald Trump continuously attacks the media as "fake news," a viewpoint shared by many of his supporters. Another reporter, Dan Heyman of the Public News Service, was arrested earlier this month after asking Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price a question that also happened to be about health care.

Jacobs' glasses will stand as a reminder of the dangers many journalists face in their efforts to gather and relay information to the public, and the ongoing importance of defending their right to do so.

Jacobs is donating more than just his glasses. A GoFundMe campaign was created after last week's incident to help him pay for a new pair, but Jacobs requested that the money instead goes to the Committee to Protect Journalists. So far, more than $7,500 has been raised of the $10,000 goal. 

According to the campaign's creator, Jacobs said that "protecting journalism is far more important than the state of my spectacles right now."

(H/T: USA Today)

Cover image: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

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