It looked at first like police in Ferguson, Missouri, were lashing out at journalists only incidentally. Everyone in their path seemed to be at risk of being teargassed, arrested without charge, or having assault rifles pointed at them without warning — so naturally the reporters milling around town were at similar risk. Increasingly, though, it is becoming clear that police in Ferguson are targeting journalists, using intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and physical force.
This has a much deeper and more damaging effect than just suppressing media coverage. Arresting and intimidating journalists are inherently political acts, guaranteed by design to generate attention. Much as when it’s done in far-away conflict zones and authoritarian states, it’s about making a statement. It’s about demonstrating, to ordinary citizens even more than to journalists, that police believe they can exercise absolute control over the streets and anyone in them. (Source: Read more)