some random thoughts on journalism, repression and dissent

I was reading Amanda's blog post on the preemptive arrests of activists and journalists that took place shortly before the start of the Republican National Convention and thinking about the lack of coverage of any protest.

Amanda's right: We really need to start demanding journalists start to be journalists again. Journalists need to start demanding more of their editors. We can't rely on bloggers and citizen journalists to fill the void created by the demise of investigative journalism and the rise of infotainment. We need real alternatives.

While I was reading and thinking, I got the following email forwarded to me from Jenna.

Journalists Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddou and Nicole Salazar from Democracy Now were arrested around 4:45 pm in a mass arrest at 7th Street and Jackson. According to the Coldsnap legal feed: Police in riot gear have blocked off downtown St. Paul. Bridges closed, buses shut down. Concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray and tasers have been used.

I guess I'll have to wait for tomorrow's broadcast of Democracy Now! to find out more. 5 24 hour news channels and not one has even mentioned the existence of protests or arrests of other journalists.

I've been really stuck on

I've been really stuck on this question of funding. I'm sick of seeing the IMC trotted out by a bunch of Foundation staffers and tenured faculty as an example of what the public can do without any money at all, to support a thesis that journalism will write itself. I kind of want to do a demographic study of IndyMedia contributors and their income, ages and overall economic security. Loosely, I want to be able to say "look, Professor, if you think you could live on $25K per year at your peak, then you can talk about how sustainable the IMC is. Otherwise, you need to concede that you aren't willing to work without pay and we shouldn't expect our democracy to function entirely on the shoulders of un-compensated activists."

Meanwhile, I'm also struggling with the whole "they're arresting journalists and medics!" line. They're arresting people, and I don't care whether those people are journalists, medics or parking lot attendants who decided that protesting the warmongers agenda matters. Preemptively targeting documentarians, whether or not they are professional journalists, is a uniquely insidious action, but the difference between Amy Goodman's arrest for challenging a cop and my own (or perhaps, more accurately my friend Ellen's whose only engagement with the cops was to say "I don't understand why you are arresting her!" as they led me away. She was in the wagon with me by the time I turned around.) at a protest here a few years ago ... the difference is nil. What is appalling is not that they arrested Amy-the-angel-Goodman, but that she was in the way so they carted her off.

I like this blog.Nice work.

I like this blog.Nice work.

spam or real comment?

I can't decide if this is spam or a real comment (I'm assuming spam), so I removed the link that would normally by there on the name of the user. Maybe I'll post some rants soon on the growing wave of human generated blog spam.