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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

  • As Trump departs, he leaves a legacy of targeted vitriol towards the press that will live on via his supporters for many years to come.

Ahead of inauguration, several journalists tell CNN they plan to wear bullet-proof vests. Many newsrooms have instructed reporters not to wear any paraphernalia, including press badges, that could identify them as journalists.

  • A coalition of news organizations sent a letter to federal law enforcement agencies last week calling for greater transparency and more information about political violence threats at the inauguration.

The big picture: A record 110 journalists were arrested or criminally charged in the U.S. in 2020, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, compared to 9 in 2019.

  • Roughly 300 journalists were assaulted, mostly by law enforcement officials.
  • A large portion of those assaults occurred over the summer during Black Lives matters protests and in November during election-related protests.
  • Several factors, including an increasingly hostile attitude towards the press, have helped to eradicate norms that once afforded journalists police protection, per CPJ.

The bottom line: 2020 set a new record for the number of imprisoned journalists globally. More journalists are being murdered in countries that aren't at war.

  • Of the 50 journalists killed last year, 84% were knowingly targeted and deliberately murdered for doing their jobs.

Go deeper

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election

Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update.

The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.