Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Media and The Law: What's Right?

DURING THE RECENT political conventions, several reporters were arrested. Watch the video above. Was there justification for the arrest in this case?

An Associated Press photographer from Philadelphia was arrested while covering an anti-war protest in Minnesota. Several others were picked up there as well (see the video below) and then released later in the day without charges being filed

Before you react, process the information. A good journalist will recognize multiple sides of the story. Did the police feel threatened? Were they abusing their powers? Were they protecting the city? Were they protecting the interests of the powerful politicians?

Can you report this fairly? Can you be objective here?


michele aweeky said...

i personally believe that the authoritie's concern has settled in the wrong place, particularly in the anti-war protest situation. their main concern should not be the journalists there to cover the the happenings, but the protestors themselves. while i am complete agreement with people being able to express their ideas freely, it's a constant negative aspect for peace protests to ironically end up in violence or vandilization. police officers were not protecting the city or the politicians by arresting the people there to tell the story. Especially because preventing journalists from getting their story is preventing citizens from knowing what is happening in their world, and that could be more dangerous than anything.

Julio Valenzuela said...

It seems that the authorities are doing there job to keep the peace. But in the other side of things journalist and their cameras can be viewed as looking for the tabloid type of news. The police officers show that they are not in the mood for any catchy headlines on the current events.

Caitlin Fitzgerald said...

These videos could be completely skewed to make people rally in support of journalists. The video begins with the force of police and the following arrests but what is not seen in the video is any actions that may have been taken by these journalist to cause somewhat excessive police force. In short, they could have had it coming.
From the editor of the video's prospective, however, it seems, even if the journalists were somewhat irritating to police, the course of action the police took was unnecessary. It could be because of the stigma attached to the Republican party in regards to the war in Iraq. The police at the convention could be so tightly wound around the fear of a possible riot that they were crushing any sort of obstinance, including that of the press.

Megan McCue Journalism said...

The reporters were just trying to do their jobs, even if a journalist is being annoying it isn't a reason for arrest. The police seemed to be using excessive force. These are very eye opening video clips.

Brittany Thomas said...

I personally feel as though these clips are further evidence of a growing problem in this country, the fact that the government and all people in positions of power and authority have so much control over the news that is distributed. I'm sure that if one of the journalists in these videos were persistantly violent requiring the type of force the police use prior to where the segment begins, the story would be much more prevelent and controversial in the media. These people are merely doing their jobs and that is to cover events and tell the story. I agree with the above comment that the police should, in this situation, be paying more regard to the crowd in the background than to the journalists. I can't help but be skeptical here about police bias against war protestors or protestors of any kind for that matter. It seems as though our government is becoming increasingly more resistant of citizens taking advantage of their right to free speech and protest and using prior negative experiences as a reason to use this sort of unneccessary force. Some may feel as though the journalists resisting is enough reason to react the way the cops did, however, in a public space it is completely legal for someone to spectate something like a war protest as long as it takes place on public property. Although it is true that I oppose the war and support peaceful protests, I do not feel that this makes me less objective in this particular situation. It is clear that these police are on a power trip when they proceed to choke out a man standing on the street. This country is a supposed democracy and the media should be free to cover what they chose, it is what's taking place in our country, after all, and the public should be informed not of just certain stories approved by our government but the whole truth of what is taking place. It is situations such as this that are skewing what kind of news is reaching Americans and the overall knowledge we are gaining.

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's so hard to tell without seeing more... I think that these videos are leaning on the sides of journalists... trying to make them appear that they just want to give information to the public, but that the police are abusing their authority.
Nikki Allen (Jour1111)

Kirsten Stamn said...

Wow. This kind of pisses me off. In both situations, journalists were arrested when they did nothing wrong. Amy Goodman was actually trying to talk to the police when they manhandled her and arrested her. It's outrageous. They should have been focusing on the citizens and not the journalists, unless they were causing a scene. And the fact that the man was pushed in the street and later held by his throat against the window also angers me. There is no need for that type of force. Maybe he was playing to the camera a bit, but the force that the police used in both videos were way out of control.