Everyone Is a Journalist

A typical citizen journalist camera
A typical camera used by citizen journalists

The power of low-cost video and image capture coupled with the distribution power of social networks is literally changing the face of government across the world.  An important ruling this week from the U.S 1st Circuit Court of Appeals provides legal reinforcement for the idea that the lines between a journalist and a private citizen with a camera have blurred.

The story is about a man who was arrested in Massachuset for peacefully filming police officers in a public place without interfering with their work, while they were making an arrest.  It is what happened afterwards, when the police arrested him and confiscated his camera and flash drive that led to this ruling.   As the court writes on page 13 of its ruling, “….the news gathering protections of the first amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”  Click here to read this important ruling that provides good insight for anyone filming public officials.

0 thoughts on “Everyone Is a Journalist

  1. “THE mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone.” Noam Cohen, NY Times, Aug 28, 2011. http://tinyurl.com/3lvkqa4

    Probably off subject, but the police story reminded me of this mass media story which I found interesting because of the impact of whatever it is… news, chatter, personal expression, intrusion, or whatever. There may a Who, What, When, Why, “or” Where to “Everyone’s” story, but “How” does all this impact us. Sounds like occasional silence with less, but valuable (with an “and” not “or”), news may be what the doctor would order?

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