By Reed Lindsay for FAIR – As residents were evicted from the Oceti Sakowin Camp where they had gathered to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline, filmmaker and journalist Reed Lindsay posted this update on the continued assault on the First Amendment faced by independent journalists covering the #NODAPL struggle. Filmmaker Jahnny Lee working with the Sundance Institute was arrested yesterday by North Dakota police while filming a stand-off between police and water protectors. He was charged with “obstruction of a government function.” I can only surmise that the charge of “criminal trespass,” leveled at Jihan Hafiz and many other journalists while covering events of the Standing Rock resistance against the DAPL pipeline, could not be used against Jahnny because he was on State Highway 1806. (How can one trespass on a highway?)
By Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Shay Horse, an independent photographer, was notified by the U.S. Attorney’s office that felony rioting charges against him had been dropped without prejudice. He had been arrested and charged during protests in Washington, DC on Jan. 20, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Horse was among seven journalists who were arrested when police indiscriminately rounded up hundreds of protesters using a technique called “kettling.” Mass arrests in 2000 and 2002 led to lawsuit settlements in the millions. As part of the legal settlements, new policies were implemented which prohibited kettling. Police also tear gassed and pepper sprayed protesters and threw concussion grenades at them after a few “Black Bloc” demonstrators allegedly broke storefront windows and torched a limosine. In total, seven journalists were arrested and charged along with more than 200 protesters.
By Steve Adler for Reuters – The first 12 days of the Trump presidency (yes, that’s all it’s been!) have been memorable for all – and especially challenging for us in the news business. It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” or that his chief strategist dubs the media “the opposition party.” It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration. So what is the Reuters answer? To oppose the administration? To appease it? To boycott its briefings? To use our platform to rally support for the media?
By Steve Cunningham for Black Agenda Report. If it wasn’t for Wikileaks, we would think Hillary Clinton’s public position were here private position; that the DNC was perfectly neutral and that Hillary Clinton won her nomination fair and square; and that the sole purpose of the Clinton Foundation was AIDS research. If anything, Wikileaks saved the election from the lies and deception of the Clinton campaign. So what if a foreign entity intervened? There is a stark difference between foreign propaganda, and foreign intervention that leads to more truth being exposed. The difference is that the first one is founded on a lie, and the second one is founded on the truth. There can never be enough truth in a democracy, unless getting to that truth involves the violation of rights. Yet acts of civil disobedience in terms of hacking are necessary at times when so much truth has become obfuscated. We cannot say how much hacking is too much hacking, only when the rights of individuals have become so impugned that it outweighs the value of the hacking. Yet in this instance, so much truth was revealed, so as to outweigh the rights to privacy and other rights of the DNC members.
By Mike Elk for Washington-Baltimore News Guild – Donald Trump has declared war on the press in the hopes to intimidate us. As unionized journalists, it’s up to us to use our solidarity to push back. May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day. On May 3rd, let’s march on the White House and in cities across the world against Trump’s attack on the media. In our industry, we are encouraged not to take long lunches nor show up to rallies, but on May 3rd, let’s do both. Let’s give the cameras a sight for the ages: hundreds of journalists marching on the White House arm in arm for the cause of press freedom.
By Kevin Gsoztola for Shadow Proof – Republican Senator Jeff Sessions opposed protections for reporters, who have viewpoints and publish contents from national security leaks, during his confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General. Asked by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar about upholding rules adopted by the Justice Department and avoiding the jailing of journalists who do their jobs, Sessions said, “I’m not sure. I have not studied those regulations.” Sessions suggested there were “few examples,” where the press and Justice Department disagreed on issues. “For the most part, there is a broadly recognized and proper deference to the news media.”
By Jay Caspian Kang for Medium – Over the next year or two, media — especially prestige print media — will begin thinning out its ranks. The economic forecast, despite temporary spikes in post-election subscriptions, is not good and headcount spots will have to be cleared to make room for all the incoming pro-Trump takes. “Identity politics writers” (read: anyone who isn’t white and who doesn’t spend 99% of their time reporting) will almost certainly be the first to go. In reality, this is just a self-correction on the part of prestige print media. As early as three years ago, the entire senior editorial staff of the New Yorkermagazine was white (the web, where I worked for a short stint in 2014, was slightly more diverse. I even sat next to a minority, which was a first for me in my publishing career.).
By Hugh Handeyside for ACLU – The recent abusive border search of a Canadian photojournalist should serve as a warning to everyone concerned about press freedom these days. Ed Ou is a renowned photographer and TED senior fellow who has traveled to the United States many times to do work for The New York Times, Time magazine, and other media outlets. Last month, Ed was traveling from Canada to the U.S. to report on the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota, when he was taken aside for additional inspection. What came next left him questioning what he thought he knew about the U.S. government and the values it stands for…
By Staff of RSF – France’s political leaders and the agency that is supposed to guarantee the freedom of its broadcast media seem unable to respond to the deepening conflict between Vincent Bolloré, the billionaire owner of the French 24-hour TV news channel iTélé, and iTélé’s journalists, who are fighting for editorial independence. The channel’s journalists have been on strike for the past three weeks in what is now the second-longest stoppage in the broadcast sector since May 1968.
By Hilary Hanson for The Huffington Post – Footage taken during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota Wednesday appears to show a rubber bullet hitting a journalist in the back as she conducted an interview. Erin Schrode, an activist and congressional candidate in California, posted a video on Facebook Thursday that shows her interviewing a Native American man, then suddenly falling to the ground as people rush to surround her in concern. She wrote that law enforcement shot her in the lower back with a rubber bullet, though neither the act nor the bullet can be seen on camera.
By Staff of RSF – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the accelerating extinction of media pluralism in Turkey, with a police raid on Cumhuriyet, one of the last major opposition dailies, at dawn today, less than 48 hours after a decree dissolving 15 Kurdish media outlets, and with the Internet subject to long cuts in the southeast. In the raid on Cumhuriyet, the police arrested at least 12 journalists and other employees including managing editor Murat Sabuncu
By Janine Jackson for FAIR – While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage. One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – “Journalists are increasingly a threatened class when we think about the right to privacy,” Snowden said. “Yes, I can give you tips on how to protect your communications, but you are going to be engaging in an arms race that you simply cannot win. You must fight this on the front pages and you must win, if you want to be able to report in the same way that you’ve been able to do in the previous centuries.”
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Deia Schlosberg, filmmaker arrested for documenting climate protest, says she believes felony charges are ‘unjust’ The filmmaker facing a lengthy prison sentence for documenting a nonviolent civil disobedience action last week has spoken out on behalf of journalism, the First Amendment, and the global climate movement.