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Press freedom and the Occupy movement

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Journalists covering the occupy movement (WP), an on-going protest movement, have been arrested, leading to criticism from press freedom groups that journalists' constitutionally protected rights are being violated.(rights protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution)

In 2012, Reporters without Borders (WP) listed the United States as 47th in its Press Freedom Index (WP), dropping a full 27 places in just one year. The watchdog group made explicit mention of US response to the Occupy movement, saying:

The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests."

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Press freedom and the Occupy movement

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Arrests of journalists[edit]

September 24 2011, New York City[edit]

Journalist John Farley of WNET Metrofocus was arrested while attempting to interview women who had been victims of the pepper-spraying by police. Despite wearing press credentials and identifying himself as press to police, Farrley was arrested. He reported being handcuffed and imprisoned for nine hours. He was initially charged with disorderly conduct but all charges against him were dropped.[3][4]

October 1 2011, New York City[edit]

Three journalists, Natasha Lennard of the New York Times, Kristen Gwynne of Alternet, and documentarian Marisa Holmes were arrested covering the events of October 1.[5][6]. [7][8]

On October 1, 2011, police arrested about 700 marchers on the Brooklyn Bridge.[9] By October 2, all but 20 of those arrested had been released with citations for disorderly conduct.[10]

On October 4, a group of protesters who were arrested on the bridge filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that officers had violated their constitutional rights. [11]

November 2 2011, Milwaukee[edit]

Kristyna Wentz-Graff of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was arrested while covering an Occupy protest. [12][13] The arrest drew criticism from Journal Sentinel editors, the Wisconsin News Photographers Association, the Milwaukee Press Club and the National Press Photographers Association. Ultimately, Wentz-Graff was ultimately not charged with any wrongdoing. [14]

November 3 2011, Oakland[edit]

Although she was clearly wearing a press pass, Journalist Susie Cagle was arrested in the early hours of November 3 and spent 14 hours at 2 different jails.[15] She was charged with failure to leave the scene of a riot. Cagle is one of several journalists covering the Occupy movement that have been arrested.[16] Additionally, Cagle reported having been subject to and witness to mistreatment of protestors during her imprisonment.[17]

Cagle was again arrested while covering an Occupy Oakland march on January 28, 2012.[18]

November 13 2011, Chapel Hill[edit]

Two journalists were arrested: Katelyn Ferral, of The News & Observer, and Josh Davis, a graduate student in Journalism at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.[19]

November 15 2011, New York City[edit]

Police arrested about 200 people, including journalists representing the Agence France-Presse,[20] Associated Press,[21] Daily News|Daily News,[22] DNAInfo,[23] NPR (WP),[24] Television New Zealand,[25] The New York Times,[26] and Vanity Fair|Vanity Fair,[27] as well as New York City Council member Ydanis Rodríguez.[28] An NBC reporter's press pass was also confiscated.[29][30] [31]

While the police cleared the park, credentialed members of the media were kept a block away, preventing them from documenting the event.[32][33] Police helicopters prevented NBC and CBS news helicopters from filming the clearing of the park.[34] Many journalists complained of being treated roughly or violently by the police.[35][36][37]

The Society of Professional Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the New York Civil Liberties Union expressed concerns and criticisms regarding the situation.[23][38][39][40] The Organization of American States Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression issued a statement saying that the "disproportionate restrictions on access to the scene of the events, the arrests, and the criminal charges resulting from the performance of professional duties by reporters violate the right to freedom of expression."[41]

On November 21, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Associated Press, Dow Jones, NBC Universal and WNBC-TV joined in a letter written by New York Times General Council George Freeman criticizing the New York Police Department's handling of the media during the raid. [42]

December 12 2011, New York[edit]

Dec 12 saw arrests of a number of journalists. [43][44]

January 28 2012, Oakland[edit]

On January 28, Oakland Police arrested about 400 individuals in the largest mass arrest in Oakland history.[45] Among those arrested were at least six journalists.

Among the journalists arrested include Kristin Hanes of ABC News-KGO, Susie Cagle,[46] Gavin Aronsen of Mother Jones magazine (WP), Vivian Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle, John C. Osborn of East Bay Express, and Yael Chanoff of San Francisco Bay Guardian.[47]

One of the imprisoned journalist emerged after 20 hours of imprisonment and reported witnessing police brutality and cruel treatment.[48][49]

January 31 2012, Miami[edit]

Carlos Miller, a member of the National Press Photographers Association, was documenting the eviction of Occupy Miami when he was arrested. Upon his release, his camera footage of his arrest appeared to have been deleted, but Miller was able to recover the footage despite the attempted deletion. [50] Miller is currently facing a single count of resisting arrest.

Citizen journalism[edit]

The Occupy movement has sparked new interest in citizen journalism (WP) due to fears about censorship (WP) and bias in the media.[51] New media outlets formed during the Occupy movement include the Occupied Wall Street Journal and InsightOut News.

The movement also increased the popularity of livestreaming (streaming media) livestreaming|(WP) as a way of disseminating information from the front lines of chaotic situations. However, these new media (WP) journalists also have complaints about harassment and arrests from the police.[52]

See also[edit]

Template:Subject bar


  1. U.S falls to 47th in press freedom rankings after Occupy crackdown. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  2. Reporters Without Borders: Targeting of Occupy journalists drops U.S. to 47th in press freedom. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  3. Charges dropped against first reporter arrested at Occupy Wall Street. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  4. Video - Charges Dropped Against Jailed MetroFocus Reporter. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  5. Covering the march on foot and in handcuffs. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  6. Natasha Lennard - [1]
  7. Kristen Gwynne - NYPD Mass Arrests of Occupy Wall Street Protesters: Firsthand Account from AlterNet Staffer Trapped on Bridge. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  8. Marisa Holmes on Democracy Now. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  9. "700 Arrested After Wall Street Protest on N.Y.'s Brooklyn Bridge". Fox News Channel. October 1, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved October 1, 2011. </li>
  10. "Hundreds freed after New York Wall Street protest". BBC News (BBC). October 2, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved October 2, 2011. </li>
  11. ELIZABETH A. HARRIS (October 5, 2011). "Citing Police Trap, Protesters File Suit". The New York Times: p. A25. Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved October 17, 2011. </li>
  12. Kristyna Wentz-Graff, Milwaukee Photojournalist, Arrested At Occupy Protest. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  13. Journal Sentinel Mayor says it's 'very clear' arrested photographer was journalist. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  14. No citations for Journal Sentinel photographer arrested while covering rally. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  15. Daetz, Ama (November 3, 2011). "Journalist arrested while covering Oakland protest". KGO-TV. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved November 21, 2011. </li>
  16. "Human Rights Group Condemns Journalist Arrests At Occupy Protests". The Huffington Post. November 17, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved November 21, 2011. </li>
  17. Archived from source 2012-07-19.
  18. Occupy protests in Oakland and New York: a weekend of police clashes. Archived from source 2012-09-08.
  19. "My first-hand account of today's arrest". Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  20. Estes, Adam Clark (2011-11-16). "Press Is Not Forgetting the Journalists Arrested at Zuccotti Park". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  21. McCarthy, Megan (2011-11-17). "Bloomberg Spokesperson Admits Arresting Credentialed Reporters, Reading The Awl". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  22. "Several Journalists Among Those Arrested During Zuccotti Park Raid". CBSNewsYork/AP (CBS News). 2011-11-15. Archived from the original on 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-16. </li>
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ventura, Michael (2011-11-16). " Journalists Arrested While Covering OWS Police Raids". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  24. Memmott, Mark (2011-11-15). "New York Police Clear Occupy Wall Street Protesters From Park". NPR. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  25. "Journalists detained at NYC Occupy protests". Associated Press. The Wall Street Journal. 2011-11-15. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  26. Malsin, Jared (2011-11-15). "Reporter for The Local Is Arrested During Occupy Wall Street Clearing". NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (The New York Times). Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  27. Weiner, Juli (2011-11-15). "Journalists, Among Those a Vanity Fair Correspondent, Arrested While Covering Occupy Wall Street". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  28. Siegal, Ida; Colletti, Roseanne Councilman Rodriguez Gives Details of His Occupy Wall Street Arrest. WNBC. Archived from source 2012-09-04. URL accessed on December 20, 2011.
  29. Johnston, Garth (2011-11-15). "Police Arrest OWS Reporter As He Pleads "I'm A Reporter!"". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  30. Arrested Journalists list: Karen Matthews|Karen Matthews, Seth Wenig, Associated Press; Matthew Lysiak, New York Daily News; Julie Walker, NPR; Jared Malsin, The New York Times; Patrick Hedlund and Paul Lomax, DNAinfo NEws; Doug Higginbotham, freelance video journalist working for TV New Zealand; An unidentified Vanity Fair correspondent; An unidentified Agance France Presse photographer; from Atlantic Wire. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  31. Nov 15 arrests: Julie Walker of NPR, Jared Malsin of The Local East Village, Jennifer Weiss of Agence France-Presse, Justin Bishop of Vanity Fair, Matthew Lysiak of New York Daily News, Karen Matthews and Seth Wenig of the Associated Press, Patrick Hedlund and Paul Lomax of DNAinfo,and Doug Higginbotham of TV New Zealand.
  32. Exclusive Video: Inside Police Lines at the Occupy Wall Street Eviction. Mother Jones. Archived from source 2012-07-10. URL accessed on 2011-11-17.
  33. David Badash. Defiant NYC Mayor Bloomberg To Occupy Protestors: ‘No Right Is Absolute’. The New Civil Rights Movement. Archived from source 2012-07-15. URL accessed on 2011-11-17.
  34. Stableford, Dylan (2011-11-17). "Press clash with police during Occupy Wall Street raid; seven journalists arrested". The Cutline (Yahoo News). Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  35. Willis, Amy; Chris Irvine (2011-11-15). "Occupy Wall Street eviction: as it happened". The Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-17. "CBS News NY News Desk tells me their helicopter was forced down by NYPD -- they had to go down for fuel but weren't allowed back up. #ows" </li>
  36. Gitlin, Sarah; Janine Balekdjian (2011-11-15). "Reoccupy Wall Street". The Columbia Daily Spectator. Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-17. "A CBS helicopter that tried to cover the eviction aerially was forced to leave the airspace over the park by the NYPD, depriving the world of a view of what, exactly, the police were doing." </li>
  37. Journalists obstructed from covering OWS protests. Committee to Protect Journalists. Archived from source 2011-11-15. URL accessed on 2011-11-18.
  38. SPJ condemns arrests of journalists at Occupy protests. Society of Professional Journalists. Archived from source 2011-11-18. URL accessed on 2011-11-18.
  39. "Human rights group concerned over journalists’ arrests at Occupy protests". Associated Press. Huffington Post. 2011-11-17. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  40. "Journalists arrested and obstructed again during Occupy Wall Street camp eviction". Reporters Without Borders. 2011-11-16. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. </li>
  41. Template:cite press release
  42. 11/21/11. Media upset at NYPD for treatment of reporters at OWS â€” am New York. Archived from source 2012-07-19. URL accessed on 2011-11-24.
  43. reporter:John Knefel, Nick Isebella, Justin Wedes, Paul Sullivan, Lorenzo Serna, Jeff Smith, Charles Meacham
  44. Busted for Tweeting. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  45. RT News
  46. Washington Post - OCCUPY OAKLAND: After 2nd arrest, comics journalist Susie Cagle shares her on-the-ground experience. Archived from source 2012-09-16.
  47. Aronsen, Gavin (29 January 2012). "Journalists—Myself Included—Swept Up in Mass Arrest at Occupy Oakland". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 31 January 2012. </li>
  48. Yael Chanoff - Occupy Oakland inmates at Santa Rita attacked- developing story. Archived from source 2012-09-09.
  49. Salon - Occupy Oakland protesters denied medication in jail. Archived from source 2012-09-16. (2/2/12)
  50. Ars Technica - Journalist recovers video of his arrest after police deleted it. Archived from source 2012-07-09.
  51. Osbourne, Charlie (19 December 2011). "Occupy Journalism: The cultural shift in citizen broadcasting". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved 29 March 2012. </li>
  52. Martin, Adam (3 January 2012). "Occupy Wall Street's Livestream Operators Arrested". The Atlantic Wire. Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved 29 March 2012. </li> </ol>

External links[edit]

Template:Occupy movement