Thursday, September 04, 2008


Local papers omit news of journalists arrests, protests, police brutality

by Larry Geller

Those who are following events inside and outside the Republican National Convention must be disappointed in the coverage by our local papers.

The YouTube video of journalist Amy Goodman’s arrest has been viewed more than 702,447 times and was the most-viewed clip on YouTube the day she and two Democracy Now producers were assaulted and arrested by police. But of course, nothing in Honolulu’s papers about this or other protests (yes, there were about three column inches of useless copy in yesterday’s Advertiser).

There were more journalists arrested today. Here is an article from a local station (thanks to Brad Parsons for spotting this):

Police Surround Crowd On Bridge, Arrest Hundreds


Police in riot gear skirmished with a rowdy band of protesters around the state Capitol and Xcel Center in St. Paul, firing tear gas and " crowd. the control and disperse to trying canisters bang? flash>

At 11 p.m. Thursday, officials said 88 people had been arrested.  Officials said they still had to process about 200 more people, bringing the total number of people arrested in St. Paul Thursday night to nearly 300.  Officers closed in on groups throughout the night, taking some into custody then swirling around other pockets of people roaming the streets.

Police surrounded about 300 people, including WCCO photojournalist  Tom Aviles, AP reporters Amy Forliti and Jon Krawczynski and reporters from other news outlets. Officers ordered them to sit on the pavement on a bridge over Interstate 94 and to keep their hands over their heads as they were led away two at a time.

The article includes a video of the scene today.

You’ve probably seen the Amy Goodman arrest video before (though not on our newspapers’ websites). This clip includes a press conference with local authorities on the illegal arrests (if you’ve seen the first part, just push the slider over a bit for the press conference).


Yup, if you want to be informed, don’t count on our papers to do it, either in their print editions or on their websites. They want us to visit their websites, but by their omissions they send us elsewhere.

I find that I’m concerned about the survival of two papers in Honolulu. Gannett keeps investing in the web (it just purchased a majority interest in CareerBuilder (thanks to Mike Reitz for tip). If you skim through the printed paper, you’ll see so many “articles” pushing you to their website that it’s beginning to look like the paper is a front for what Gannett would really like to do. They’re free to do whatever they want, of course, but how long can it be before the Star-Bulletin becomes our paper of record? The Advertiser is getting pretty light weight.

It seems also that more and more pages devote space to sending readers to the web, even though many (I’ll hazard “most”) readers would prefer a quality newspaper experience. That’s why we pay money for the paper! Think about it. I wish the publisher would.

Once a newspaper chases its readers off to its website they are also free to go where they like. Since the website omits news of importance to their readers, they’ll have to go elsewhere, of course, to get it.

Back to the news.

Check out this video of the GOP partying with its lobbyists when they were told to tone things down due to the hurricane:


So they party on, while outside the police round up journalists and charge them with felonies for practicing their trade.

You’d think journalists everywhere would be concerned.

But if you have to read about this on Disappeared News (or elsewhere on the web) instead of in your daily paper, what does that say about the state of journalism in this state?



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