||[Dec. 17th, 2011|12:51 pm]
|||||the die hard song||]|
Stanley Rogouski has a really excellent blog post about being arrested in NYC for taking photographs of police arresting people at an OWS protest (a reporter for SALON was also arrested in the same sweep). He's a self described "independent photojournalist ... sympathetic to the Occupy movement" - so he's got a dog in the fight, but he has several good points about why this is frightening on a grand scale, regardless of one's political beliefs.
This is the same protest where Police intentionally, and continuously, blocked a New York Times photographer from taking pictures of the same arrests (in fact, they may have been blocking the Times from photographing Rogouski's arrest) (video of that can be seen here.)
"The Media," which includes both venerable old guard institutions like the New York Times but also newer more modern media outlets and individuals, exist as the eyes and ears of "the people" -- they're there to keep the government honest -- which is why freedom of the press is guaranteed in the constitution. When the government stops the media from reporting on them, we (the people) are blind and deaf.
You can read around the politics in this post (substitute "NRA rally" or "Tea Party protest" and it still holds true) -- most importantly, I believe, among Rogouski's points are these:
1) "Nobody ... believes that Occupy Wall Street is dangerous. At the very worst, New Yorkers unsympathetic to the Occupy movement see it as an aggressive nuisance,"
and (2) I think he has a good point about these tactics being "designed to cow the independent media" - the New York Times stood by their photographer and is quick to bail other of their reporters out of jail when the NYPD throws the cuffs on them, but Rogouski and people like him are left on their own, easily susceptible to threats by the police.
I've noticed lately the (as Sarah Palin put it) "lame stream media" is no longer the standard bearer of Important Journalism - I'm learning more about breaking news from Twitter than I am from CNN. While TV news stakes out Kim Kardashian and Michael Jackson's doctor, people on the front lines are getting locked up for trying to help tell the story. The stories that the Real Media has dropped the ball on.
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