This weekend hundreds of people in an Occupy Oakland protest were arrested while attempting to occupy a former convention center. Among those arrested were six reporters; one of which had credentials from the Oakland Police Department. Another journalist arrested in the Oakland mass arrest this weekend was Mother Jones’s Gavin Aronsen. Aronsen wrote a first hand account of his arrest as he reports from the Mother Jones website:
Oakland police thwarted the efforts, arresting more than 400 people in the process, primarily during a mass nighttime arrest outside a downtown YMCA. That number included at least six journalists, myself included, in direct violation of OPD media relations policy that states “media shall never be targeted for dispersal or enforcement action because of their status.”
Aronsen recounts several attempts to notify the police that he was merely a journalist. However, his struggle was in vein as it became clear that he was being caught in the 400 person net that the Oakland Police Department had cast around the crowd to catch and throw in jail. Occupiers and Aronsen alike told tales of police firing tear gas, beanbag and flash bang grenades in what appeared to be an over-reaction on their behalf. Certainley protesters and New York, Philly, Denver, and Los Angeles believed so as they rallied on Sunday night in support of those arrested in Oakland. Similar instances of police and occupiers tension resulted in Washington Square Park, yet on a smaller magnitude where 200 protested but only twelve were arrested.
The way police are depicted in news stories such as the one from Aronsen in Oakland portray them as a brute force that is going on unnecessary power trips. Is this the case? Or is this an example of the media only highlighting on the bad behavior of the police department and overlooking the occupiers’ actions to provoke such reactions by the police?
by CHARLES HICKS
The online readership of The New York Times has remained steady since the implementation of a paywall on the publication’s website last March. When the announcement of the paywall was made, it was a new approach to online readership, and many critics were skeptical as to whether asking readers to pay for online content would work. *cough* Jimmy Wales. *cough* Arianna Huffington. Looks like they might be eating their words.
This is further fodder for the fire of selling news-for-profit, an obvious idea that was employed for over 150 years until the Great Mysterious Internet Monster convinced journalism companies to give away, or even pay for, their product to get in the hands of the consumer. Until the past two or three years, no journalism company could hold a candle to The Monster, but in the depths of Manhattan, a sword has been forged in the form of the paywall. Sure the sword looked good on paper, but the question was, “Does this thing work?”
The answer isn’t “yes” yet, but now that The New York Times has shown readers are willing to pay for quality, it is leaning more in that direction. We are seeing other advances in institutions accepting the notion of a paywall. The 2nd Paywall Strategies conference is being held next month in London to discuss digital product development, pricing models for online content, and monetizing customers not content.
Are y’all comfortable with the idea of a paywall, or is there a better way to solve the dot-com bust of journalism?