Posted by Michelle Moquin on October 17th, 2016
Good Monday morning.
Investigative reporter and co-founder of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, is now facing riot charges in the state of North Dakota after her report on a Native American-led pipeline protest there went viral on Facebook.
Democracy Now! issued a statement about the new charges against Goodman late Saturday.
The news organization, which spun out of WBAI-FM, creates programming which is syndicated via radio, podcasts, cable television, public access television, live streams and Web downloads.
Goodman’s story, posted to Facebook on September 4th, has been viewed more than 14 million times on the social media platform, Democracy Now! said, and was picked up by mainstream media outlets and networks including CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and The Huffington Post (a site owned by TechCrunch’s parent company Verizon).
Additionally, documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, is facing felony and conspiracy charges that could carry a 45-year sentence for filming at the protest, IndieWire reports.
Edward Snowden noted Schlosberg’s predicament on Friday with a tweet that said, “This reporter is being prosecuted for covering the North Dakota oil protests. For reference, I face a mere 30 years.”
Authorities released Schlosberg, who also runs a production studio called Pale Blue Dot Media, after originally detaining her but they confiscated her footage and refused to release it according to public tweets from Josh Fox, a fellow filmmaker.
For those unfamiliar with the pipeline protests, the Standing Rock Sioux are seeking to halt the construction of a $3.8 billion pipeline saying its development will encroach on their tribal burial sites and taint their water supply at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The demonstrations in North Dakota have been ongoing for months. Native American advocates and environmentalists have protested the pipeline’s development in other cities and states, as well.
On October 10th, witnesses at a rally in Reno, Nevada captured footage of a pickup truck plowing into a group of activists protesting the pipeline’s development, and calling for Columbus Day to be changed to Indigenous Peoples’ Day in their state.
Several posted their footage and thoughts about the apparent attack on Facebook as well. The Reno incident injured five and sent one to the hospital. The rally was organized by the American Indian Movement of Northern Nevada (AIMNN).
It remains to be seen whether the charges against Goodman, Schlosberg and other journalists covering the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access pipeline will stick.
But these cases highlight the increasing power, and risks, associated with online distribution for news stories covered by independents, and earlier missed by mainstream networks. Virality and independence, it seems, can attract prosecutorial ire.
Readers: These people should be protected by the First Amendment. It is not a crime to report what is happening. These reporters were simply doing their jobs, documenting protests, exercising their First Amendment rights. Goodman was not rioting – she was there documenting what was happening – again doing her job.
How can this woman, a reporter, Deia get 45 year sentence when Snowden is only facing 30? Really? The freedom of the press is a fundamental right in our free society. This is so unjust. In my opinion, this is absolutely crazy, and something everyone should be concerned about when it comes to our freedoms.
Is this surprising that this is happening to two women?
I had technical difficulties this morning and I am running late so please pick up where I am leaving off and support our reporters in their right to do their jobs so that all of us can be informed. I signed the petition, I HOPE you will too. Thanks to Josh Fox, her associate, for his support in getting the charges against Schlosberg dropped. Need more info? Click here.
Beverly: Woo hoo! Thank you. Take your friends with you too. No one should believe that their vote doesn’t count.
Zen Lill: Happy Belated Birthday! Happy to hear you enjoyed yourself.
Nora: You and me both. It is so much more than just getting Hillary in. We need the Senate too. We can’t celebrate yet – this is no shoo-in. Encourage all you know to go vote. I wold love to have the House too.
Got to run…
Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.
Gratefully your blog host,
michelle Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)
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