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Postby Madison » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:52 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:
Madison wrote:There were crimes committed, he's got a tape that could help show exactly what happened, who did what, etc., and he is refusing to turn over that possible evidence? Why?

Principle. It's not necessarily about this particular case, but about the precedent.


Sounds more like a macho thing than a principal thing, or a lame attempt to get his blog more popular.

What bad comes from him providing a copy of the footage? It's been done before, and will be done again in the future. Most people are happy to assist in an investigation when all they have to do is give a copy of what they've got. It's not that big of a deal, and shielding a criminal most certainly should be a crime.

Art Vandelay wrote:
Madison wrote:It's no different than hiding a known murderer from the police in my opinion. What's the difference in assisting in a crime, and withholding evidence of a crime?

It's not like the government *thinks* something might have happened and want to see a copy of what he's got, they know crimes were committed. :-?

We just have a difference of opinion here. The thing is, it's his role as a journalist to document the event, it's not his job or his duty to help the government make a case. Having the government force journalists to hand over the work (video, audio recordings, notes, etc.) is treading dangerously close to getting rid of the free press as we know it.


Two things:

He's not helping the government make a case. He doesn't even have to go out of his way. A simple copy of the tape is all they asked for. It's not like they are forcing him to go undercover, put his life in danger, or anything of the sort. Simply copy the tape and give them a copy. That's work? That's too much to ask?

The other is how is it getting rid of the free press? All they want is a copy. He's making a mountain out of a molehill. It's simple and easy to do, so where's the problem?

Do you think if someone who claimed to be a journalist had a video of the plane that hit the White House, that they shouldn't be required to turn over a copy of it to the government? If someone has proof of a crime that happened, I see zero reason for them to be able to refuse to do something as simple as provide a copy of the media used to record the transgression.

Art Vandelay wrote:
Madison wrote:See, I disagree with this as well. Just because someone blogs, writes an article, posts up a home video, etc, that does not constitute them as a "journalist" to me.

And you're definitely with the majority there. If you would have asked me 15, 10, possibly even five years ago I may have agreed, but I don't anymore. And this is coming from someone who is an actual "journalist." Most of my colleagues absolutely abhor the popularity and apparent legitimacy of bloggers, podcasters, etc.


Depends on what you call legitimate. Do people blog? Sure. Does that make them a journalist? Not anywhere close. No different than an online diary, or a place for them to vent about whatever. I know tons of people with blogs, and I don't consider any of them journalists. In fact, not one of them claims to be a journalist either. These "rights" to protect criminals simply because someone claims to be a journalist because they have a web page or a blog is a bit beyond silly in my eyes.

Art Vandelay wrote:
Madison wrote:Just because I write an article about the All-Star Game voting being a joke (which I did do), that doesn't automatically make me a journalist and mean I don't have to comply with police, the courts, and/or the government. :-?


Well, in all other facets of your life you'd still have to comply, but if the government came knocking on your door because they said they needed the notes from your article (or tape recordings if you had interviewed someone) to help them with their steroid investigation, I would absolutely fight for your right to keep those from investigators.


I'd gladly turn copies of the notes, recordings, or whatever over to them. If someone broke the law, then they should be punished. Simple as that. If I refused, then I'd expect to be in jail for hiding a criminal.

Good example, a couple of months ago, one of my neighbors juiced up their stereo and left their 4 year old daughter home alone (the juiced up stereo was to cover her screams and cries). I did record the cries and screams (along with the music) while waiting for the police to show up. I called the police and they broke down the door to get the little girl and the parents went to jail. Now had I decided to write an article about the situation and upload the tape to the internet, and not called the police, while hiding under the disguise of a "journalist", would that make me any less of a criminal for not reporting it to the proper authorities? I'd view anyone who did that as a criminal, real journalist, imposter journalist, or none of the above. I shouldn't be allowed to hide as an imposter journalist simply because I don't want to cooperate with the proper authorities.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:29 pm

knapplc wrote:I think you give a reasonable definition of journalist, but the problem that creates is determining then who is NOT a journalist. By this definition pretty much anyone can be a journalist. All you need to do is use your cell phone camera to capture an image and post it on the Cafe and you’re a journalist. Let’s say I take a picture of myself at the local independent league baseball game. I then write a story with picture and post it here at the Cafe. Am I not then a journalist?

I guess that depends. If you go to the game with the express intent of taking pictures to accompany a story that you intend to post online then I would consider you an amateur journalist. If you go, take the picture just to have the photo, then later put it online on a whim, I wouldn't consider you a journalist. If you go just to enjoy the game, then later decide that you'd like to write about it and the picture you took would accompany the story well...then I don't know what I'd consider you, I guess an amateur journalist. The key, as you said, is that somehow we're going to have to determine who is a journalist, and who is a guy with a camera in the right place at the right time, and honestly, I'm not sure where to draw that line. There's people much smarter than me who get paid to figure that stuff out, hopefully they don't screw this one up.

knapplc wrote:This presents a fiendish little problem for police and other government officials in defining who gets what access to crime scenes, who gets to follow along with troops in combat, who gets into news conferences, etc. Where do you draw the line? And a better question is who gets to draw that line (which is essentially what I think you’re asking)?

Yeah, that's essentially the question I'm trying to get at, but I don't foresee the same problems that you talk about here. Police already determine who has access to crime scenes, and authorites decide who gets put into the pools that cover wars. It's not as if being an official journalist allows you access to anything you want. For instance, I do broadcast news, I host a talk show dealing with news, politics, current events, etc, and I'm an AP contributor--I think by any standard I'd be considered a journalist. If I asked to be embedded with a platoon in Iraq or Afghanistan I'd get laughed at. So basically, being a credentialed journalist doesn't necessarily give you access, but not being one could potentially deny you access.
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Postby acsguitar » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Is France a senator or somethign?
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Postby Art Vandelay » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:37 pm

Madison-
Forgive me for not responding point-by-point here, but I'm a little pressed for time.

Essentially, I agree with you about what journalists should do (in most cases). Where we differ is on what they are told by government that they must do. To me, there is a huge difference between "should" and "must." I'm not saying that this guy being forced to turn over his tapes is going to lead to the downfall of Western Civilization, but it's a slippery slope. I believe that a free and unconstrained press is essential and I don't want to start heading down the path that this seems to lead.
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Postby Madison » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:47 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:Madison-
Forgive me for not responding point-by-point here, but I'm a little pressed for time.

Essentially, I agree with you about what journalists should do (in most cases). Where we differ is on what they are told by government that they must do. To me, there is a huge difference between "should" and "must." I'm not saying that this guy being forced to turn over his tapes is going to lead to the downfall of Western Civilization, but it's a slippery slope. I believe that a free and unconstrained press is essential and I don't want to start heading down the path that this seems to lead.


No problem Art, I fully understand time constraints. ;-D

I agree about journalists having to protect their sources (which is where I believe you're headed and/or concerned about) and agree with that practice provided the person they are protecting hasn't broken the law. Plus, I don't believe a journalist should be forced into putting their life on the line, or having to go gather the data for the government. However, if they are already in possession of the data, I don't see the big deal in turning over a copy of whatever it is, and don't see it as setting a precedent, or anything to worry about. Could be I'm missing something though. :-?
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Postby AcidRock23 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:41 pm

Madison wrote:If it is someone's actual "job" (meaning they get paid to do it and it's their only job), then maybe I'd be more lax with the definition, but just because I write an article about the All-Star Game voting being a joke (which I did do), that doesn't automatically make me a journalist and mean I don't have to comply with police, the courts, and/or the government. :-?


Now puhleeeze, we ALL know that you are much more than a journalist. I am kind of inclined to think that there should be some sort of regulation or restraint applied to journalism. The celebrity sleaze gossip industry pretty much assassinated the Princess of Wales and now has destroyed Brittany Spears' hair.

I guess I'm making fun of it but the journalism industry as a whole has failed in its duty to inform, becoming a slave to marketing and using the tools of mass media to make well, a Nation of Tools b/c 80% of US citizens know the 'whole story' about Brittany Spears but less than 50% of us bother to get off our butts or tell our bosses we will be 20 min late to work b/c we are going to participate in our democracy.

Perhaps an interesting angle to this is that the recently elected President of France got snapped on a beach in her bikini. Not that there's anything wrong w/ a 40 something woman wearing a bikini or anything like that but the fact that someone w/ few professional qualifications other than an ability to use a camera is able to make crap like that an issue should concern any democracy. Politicians should be charged with handling our money in a reasonably responsible manner to grow and develop the economy, whether it is in France, the US or Burkina Faso. They should not have to worry about having their normal activities plastered all over tabloids.

Similarly, actors and actresses and musicians (and it does pain me a bit to refer to Brittany Spears as any of these, as I'm not remotely a fan...) SHOULD be trotted out at the Oscars or perhaps at other structured and professional media events. They should not have hordes of sleazy douchebags hanging around outside of clubs every evening waiting to take pictures of them getting drunk or renting helicopters to hover over their weddings. Those guys are utter wusses who are more than ready to wave their equally sleazy attorneys at anyone threatening to moonstomp their camera. It is absurd for manufactured demand to be allowed to feed itself in this manner.
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Postby glcmustliveon » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:51 pm

France has missed the point. I remember hearing that in public schools catholics aren't allowed to wear crosses and Muslims aren't allowed to wear hijabs(head scarves). They go too over boared with the secular thing. Isn't it just as bad to infringe on someones right to express their religious beliefs than it is to offend someone by wearing that symbol? For all intents and purposes, wearing something that is generally non obtrusive such as a cross or headscarf shouldn't be that damaging to anyone else. Just my 2 cents, France seems like a nice place though ;-D
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Postby AcidRock23 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:39 pm

glcmustliveon wrote:France has missed the point. I remember hearing that in public schools catholics aren't allowed to wear crosses and Muslims aren't allowed to wear hijabs(head scarves). They go too over boared with the secular thing. Isn't it just as bad to infringe on someones right to express their religious beliefs than it is to offend someone by wearing that symbol? For all intents and purposes, wearing something that is generally non obtrusive such as a cross or headscarf shouldn't be that damaging to anyone else. Just my 2 cents, France seems like a nice place though ;-D


not to mention, crosses were pretty much de rigeur amongst the Ozzy/ Sabbath/ Maiden set in our high school in the mid 80s. FWIW, there have been a lot of problems causing public disorder along religious guidelines though and they may also be trying to discourage Muslim emigration through public policy.

While this does seem a bit extreme, I think that if we dealt Mexico for Algeria and put Algeria across the Rio Grande, we might look at it a bit differently.

I still totally agree w/ putting journalists on a leash though...
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Postby bleach168 » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:35 am

glcmustliveon wrote:France has missed the point. I remember hearing that in public schools catholics aren't allowed to wear crosses and Muslims aren't allowed to wear hijabs(head scarves). They go too over boared with the secular thing. Isn't it just as bad to infringe on someones right to express their religious beliefs than it is to offend someone by wearing that symbol? For all intents and purposes, wearing something that is generally non obtrusive such as a cross or headscarf shouldn't be that damaging to anyone else. Just my 2 cents, France seems like a nice place though ;-D


They are apalled when Bush says something like "God bless America." People in Europe just take separation of church and state very seriously.
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Postby Madison » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:55 am

AcidRock23 wrote:
Madison wrote:If it is someone's actual "job" (meaning they get paid to do it and it's their only job), then maybe I'd be more lax with the definition, but just because I write an article about the All-Star Game voting being a joke (which I did do), that doesn't automatically make me a journalist and mean I don't have to comply with police, the courts, and/or the government. :-?


Now puhleeeze, we ALL know that you are much more than a journalist.


Actually, seeing as how I'm ultimately responsible for each and every single article/ranking/sleeper/etc. that goes up on all 4 Cafes (meaning if there's a goof or mistake - blame me), then I could claim to be a journalist. However, I still don't consider myself a journalist. Maybe at some point down the road if I could find the time to write more I'd change my mind, but for now, I'm no journalist.
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Sick of those who feel self-entitled.
Sick of those who are hypocrites.
Yes doctor, an army is forming.
Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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