Press Freedoms Require ‘Constant Vigilance’

The folks at Free Press recount (11/25/08) how, “when St. Paul police launched a violent crackdown on journalists covering the Republican National Convention,” the media reform group “needed an on-the-ground organizer to pressure city officials to drop the charges against the journalists”–luckily they “knew just the person to call: Nancy Doyle Brown of the Twin Cities Media Alliance“:

With only two days to organize, Doyle Brown called media reform advocates throughout the city, rallying support for the petition delivery and the press conference. Free Press coordinated with its local members to prepare for the event and ensure a strong media turnout….

Not long after the petition delivery, the county announced it would not pursue any felony charges against journalists. Then, on September 19, authorities in St. Paul announced that they would not prosecute journalists arrested during the RNC.

Brown professes to have been “shocked and outraged” when she “saw the progressive city of St. Paul become a police state overnight. The RNC was a grave reminder that maintaining our freedoms requires constant vigilance.” Indeed, she reminds us that “there are a hundred more subtle ways that press freedom is compromised every day in this country, from allegiance to corporate advertisers to newsroom staff cuts and overreliance on official sources.”

Listen to the FAIR radio show CounterSpin: “Heidi Boghosian on Convention Protests” (9/5/08)