Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

Curated knowledge, trenchant insights & witty bon mots

Democracy Now!’s Goodman sought on trespassing warrant over oil protest coverage

The lede: “North Dakota authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the prominent radio and TV journalist Amy Goodman, in response to her coverage of protests at the construction site for a massive oil pipeline.”

From Salon (“Arrest warrant issued for journalist Amy Goodman after reporting on Dakota Access oil pipeline protests“):

Morton County issued the arrest warrant on Sept. 8. Goodman, the host of the popular independent news program Democracy Now, was charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.

In its Sept. 3 coverage of protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, Democracy Now exposed private security forces’ use of attack dogs and pepper spray. Footage captured by the news outlet show several guards intimidating and repressing protesters.

An activist told Goodman that one of the attack dogs bit another protester in the face. Democracy Now captured video of the dog with blood in its mouth and nose.

Democracy Now’s report got tens of thousands of shares on social media. The footage it captured was also reused by CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and the Huffington Post.

The arrest warrant for Goodman was issued just a day after Morton County issued arrest warrants for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running-mate Ajamu Baraka. Both were charged with two misdemeanors for participating in the protests.

More information from the Committee to Protect Journalists (“Arrest warrant for muckraking U.S. journalist“):

The Morton County’s Sherriff’s Department issued a statement saying that protesters entered private land after breaking down a fence, according to the NPR report. Democracy Now! reported on its website that an officer from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation acknowledged in an affidavit that Goodman is seen in the video identifying herself as a journalist and interviewing protesters. If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Goodman could face a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail.

“This arrest warrant is a transparent attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of significant public interest,” said Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator for the Americas at CPJ. “Authorities in North Dakota should stop embarrassing themselves, drop the charges against Amy Goodman, and ensure that all reporters are free to do their jobs.” …

“This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press,” Goodman said in a statement cited on Democracy Now. “I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”

Mon, September 12 2016 » Main Page, Media