Tracking Journalists Arrested at Occupy Protests

Josh Stearns of media-reform group Free Press has been tracking journalist arrests at Occupy protests since September (see his complete list below). He constantly scans Twitter for mentions of latest arrests, tries to verify by contacting publications affiliated with the journalists in question, and updates their status on the list he maintains at Storify, the social-media curation site.

Unlike the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, where riot police ripped press credentials off journalists’ necks and tampered with recording equipment, Stearns doesn’t believe there’s an intentional effort by law enforcement officials to target journalists covering Occupy protests. “Journalists are just getting swept up as part of the general ‘nuisance,'” he says, “and cops are finding it easier to sweep house and get the details later.” And in the age of smartphone reporting, Twitter, and livestream video, it’s hard to tell who’s a credentialed journalist and who isn’t—or what that means for journalism.

“These arrests are a symptom of a larger debate about how we understand the First Amendment in a digital age, as the institutions that traditionally embodied those freedoms shift and change,” Stearns writes on his blog. “As more and more of our speech moves online and over mobile networks, and as our press is distributed across vast human and technological networks, we need to contend with new kinds of First Amendment issues.”

Read more of his thoughts here, and send tips and tweets on journalist arrests to @jcstearns.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate