Journalists Covering Protests Arrested, Assaulted in Ferguson

THE WASHINGTON POST’S WESLEY LOWERY AND THE HUFFINGTON POST’S RYAN J. REILLY WERE RELEASED WITHOUT CHARGES

After police killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last weekend in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. protests erupted, then violence broke out and looting ensued.

In the time since Brown’s death,  journalists have descended on the town to cover those events and protesters have continued to call for justice in the killing of the college-bound teen. Meanwhile, law enforcement has become increasingly hostile to the media and demonstrators alike.

IN A SEPARATE INCIDENT, POLICE FIRED TEAR GAS AND BEAN BAGS AT AN AL-JAZEERA AMERICA TELEVISION CREW

The most recent evidence of that hostility came Thursday with the arrest of two reporters at a Ferguson McDonald’s — near where Brown was shot and killed — and a video showing police in riot gear firing tear gas and rubber bullets at a television crew, then dismantling their equipment after they fled for safety.

In any free country the balance between providing police protection with integrity and over-zealous enforcement is delicate. It is one thing for officers to act when there is reasonable suspicion; it is quite another to abuse that discretion by chilling free speech and creating a climate of fear and distrust under the pretext of safety and security.”

Mickey H. Osterreicher, General Counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, from a letter to Chief Thomas Jackson Ferguson Police Department

Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly were both arrested at a McDonald’s near the scene of demonstrations as they tried to work and recharge their cell phones. Both media organizations condemned the arrests. And both reporters were interviewed on MSNBC on Thursday describing their violent removal by heavily armed police in riot gear.

He was illegally instructed to stop taking video of officers. Then he followed officers’ instructions to leave a McDonald’s — and after contradictory instructions on how to exit, he was slammed against a soda machine and then handcuffed. That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news. The physical risk to Wesley himself is obvious and outrageous.”

— Martin BaronExecutive Editor of The Washington Post, from a statement about the arrest of reporter Wesley Lowery

Journalists have a constitutionally protected right to work without the government interference, We call on — and fully expect — the authorities to investigate what appears to be a violation of the First Amendment and to hold the officers involved to account, if necessary.”

Bob Butler, President of the National Association of Black Journalists, from a statement about the arrests of Lowery and Reilly

Lowery posted a video to Twitter showing an officer demanding that he leave the restaurant and ordering him to stop filming, prior to his arrest. Reilly posted photos of an officer he says assaulted him during the arrest — a law enforcement official Reilly also says ignored repeated requests to identify himself by name and badge number.

Compared to some others who have come into contact with the police department, they came out relatively unscathed, but that in no way excuses the false arrest or the militant aggression toward these journalists. Ryan, who has reported multiple times from Guantanamo Bay, said that the police resembled soldiers more than officers, and treated those inside the McDonald’s as ‘enemy combatants.’”

Ryan Grim, Huffington Post Washington D.C. Bureau Chief, from a statement about the arrests

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‘El Tiempo Latino:’ What Jeff Bezos Was Really After…

Mi blog es tu blog

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As usual, the so-called “mainstream media” missed the boat on this one.

For all the hoopla around Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post, most media writers failed to point out that the Post is the proud publisher of El Tiempo Latino, a weekly Spanish-language publication that prints awesome cartoons like this one and targets the many, many Latinos that are taking over D.C.

So… if you thought Bezos paid $250 million for The Washington Post, think again. What he was really after was the ever-exploding, trillion-dollar-opportunity that only Hispanic print media can deliver.

After all, there’s no point in denying his Cuban background, is there?

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Jeff Bezos Is Bad News

Draper's Den

Writing in The New Republic Senior Editor Alec MacGillis takes an informed and critical stance against the purchase of The Washington Post by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

…let’s not kid ourselves here: The company that made him one of the richest men in the world has had a less than benign impact on our nation. It has devastated the publishing industry, from the big presses to the small booksellers. It has exacerbated the growth of the low-wage economy, to the point where the president feels the need to celebrate an increase in warehouse jobs that will pay barely more than minimum wage. (Fun fact uncovered by the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. two years ago: Instead of paying for air-conditioning at some Pennsylvania warehouses, Amazon had just stationed paramedics outside to take the inevitably heat-stressed workers to the hospital.)

More generally, Amazon has embodied, more than any other of the giants…

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The Era of Family Newspapers Is Back

Media Politics in Perspective

By Matthew Yglesias

Last Friday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold a bunch of Amazon stock. On Monday afternoon, we learned why. Bezos is buying the Washington Post for $250 million. The news—combined with the sale of the Boston Globe over the weekend for $70 million to the quantitative trading pioneer John Henry—has prompted a fair amount of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the much higher prices fetched recently by Tumblr and Instagram, and of the possible trampling of American democracy by egomaniacal newspaper-buying billionaires. While it’s of course possible that Bezos will ruin the Post or turn it into some kind of adjunct to Amazon’s lobbying efforts, we should more likely see this as a positive development.

The most journalistically successful American newspapers have almost always been family affairs, conducted in part out of non-pecuniary motives. Conversely, the sky-high valuations given to social networking startups reflect the…

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Content Matters: Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post, and the Future of Journalism

Sean Ketchem, PhD

The surprise announcement that the Graham family is giving up control of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos seems to signal another tolling of the bell in the death knell of journalistic content: lack of readers and relevance in the commercially all-important 20-30 demographic segment. But in fact, it is a sign that content is healthier than ever: it’s the financial model behind newspapers that is in need of tinkering.

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The Amazon Post or Why Print Was Already Dead

HighTalk

AmazonPost2

One of my PR colleagues had this reaction to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, buying the Washington Post.

“This really is the end of an era for print media as we know it.”

My reaction?

Where have you been?

Print media, particularly print newspapers, official kicked the bucket in 2009 – after a long and agonizing death. In fact, 2009 was so painfully grim for print media that I dubbed it the year of the Great Media Collapse.

It was epic.

2009 ended with more than 14,000 journalism jobs gone forever. It ended with circulation rates at 1940s levels. It saw the end of dozens of newspapers including mainstay dailies in Tucson, Seattle, Detroit, Baltimore and Denver. Heck, in 2009, Businessweek was sold for less than the price of a really nice condo in Manhattan.

The situation has continued to deteriorate at a startling rate.

The Pew Research…

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