At least 26 “journalists,” seven of which were “full-time employed traditional news-gathering employees,” were arrested Thursday, Nov. 17, covering the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests, according to The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
In some cases, journalists have found themselves targets of police violence and arrest for reporting on the protests.
The police argue that not all the journalists have press passes to distinguish them from the protestors, but the editor of the New York Observer shot back about the ironies in the New York Police Department’s press credentialing process, which requires journalists to have documented proof of having covered six events on different days.
Of course, the only way to document one’s coverage of these events is to attend the events as an uncredentialed reporter, she adds.
However, credentialed journalists covering from the protests report still report being victims of police brutality.
The Huffington Post passes along one incidence of police violence against journalists:
Lucy Kafanov, a reporter for the RT television network, said she was hit with a police baton while trying to film the protests. She told another reporter for her network that she had her press credentials clearly visible, but was still struck. She also said that she witnessed another reporter from the IndyMedia network being “slammed against the wall” and arrested.
“It does not seem police are making a distinction between press and protesters,” she said.
Reporters are using Twitter and their own media to spread word of the heavy hand police are using against them.
It is horrible that the police are using violence against the protestors, especially journalists.
Journalists are just trying to do their job diligently and cover the protests. However, I do believe journalists should be arrested when they turn into protestors and disrupt traffic or trespass on private property.
Bottom line, the police should arrest people who are breaking the law, not doing their job.