Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Attack on U.S Press Freedom?

Press freedom has been a long tradition in the United States being a liberal country according to the study done by Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini in their book Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics. The First Amendment in the United States Constitution states that Congress shall not pass a law that abridges an individual's freedom of speech and/or press. In a recent anti-war protest against NATO, protesters marched along the street in an non-violent manner in hopes to send a peace message to President Obama and the NATO representatives during their summit. According to the Wall Street Journal, four protestors were arrested on the grounds of being potential "terrorists". At the end of the article, the author concludes with a quick interview summary he had with a Chicago Police Department officer saying,


"There have been little incidents here and there, but they're caused by a very small group of individuals that don't represent the other protesters." But, he added on Sunday morning, "we'll see what today brings."

In other activist protest events, specifically the Occupy Wall Street protest in Miami, Florida, many journalists such as Carlos Miller had their cameras confiscated and/or they were arrested for trying to photograph police brutality against the protesters. After some more research, the Wall Street Journal failed to report what was really happening on the streets of Chicago. Some blogs such as this one, created a collage of video clips taken by the protesters and journalists via smartphones. 

If the United States Constitution protects our right to free speech and free press, why are protestors and journalists facing such treatment? Large media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, only skim the top of the event and completely disregard what is actually going on to individuals during the protest. This is alarming since most people do not search for works of citizen journalism off the bat and would resort to just reading through major news outlets that produce pretentious works such as this. The Constitution and every citizen it protects by is threatened by acts of impulse in police decisions, often leading to violent acts of brutality that may slowly deteriorate the infrastructure it is built upon. Citizen journalism and journalists who document and report on these types of events serve as an important asset to the global mediascape. Without them, how much trust can we put onto the individuals that protect and govern our country?

2 comments:

  1. Because large news outlets now rarely report on the Occupy movement, while citizen journalism continues to maintain "live" coverage, it might be interesting to see some more specific analysis of the Wall Street Journal case and your reading of that quotation as part of a larger trend.

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  2. your blog is very informative.......

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