What we want from our journalists is thought-provoking material without any bias, that covers both sides of the story. That, and nothing more. We don't want police informants being swayed by the law, or those working for another's agenda. It is terrible for journalism, and it keeps getting worse by the year.
Yes, when journalists are used as police informants, then their accepted role in society is put into question. We have come to understand the press as bringers of important news, and while they cannot be expected to be on the side of activists, we expect them to remain impartial. If journalists are known to be informants, their integrity is put into jeopardy because the public will then not know whether to believe what they say is true, or not.
I do not believe journalists are used a police informants very often, if at all. Journalists in America actually have the right to withhold information from law enforcement, even though those rights are being questioned and pushed out by the federal government. If journalists were used in this way then it certainly would endanger free media and the right to protest, as well many other freedoms.
No, I do not think that this has affected our freedom of speech at all. We can still say whatever we want, but if you say something that is letting them know that you committed a crime, then of course you will still be in trouble if someone tells the cops.
While I can imagine it happens. I think our country has a lot more problems that are threatening free speech and the right to protest. It usually involves people and political origination's with huge amounts of money, that saturate our economy with false propaganda and rules, to keep people doing what they want them to do.