What About Freedom of the Press?

On September 8, 2016, Amy Goodman, a reporter for Democracy Now!, was arrested for criminal trespassing.

I believe that Goodman should not have been arrested. She was just doing her job, and doing it right.

Five days earlier, Goodman captured footage of a protest that was happening at the Dakota Pipeline construction site. If completed, the 3.8 billion dollar pipeline would transport roughly 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois.

The video showed a security team, allegedly employed by the fossil fuel companies, attempting to control the protestors by using maize spray and releasing dogs on those who were on scene.

Goodman, as reported by The New York Times, said that she wasn’t there to trespass, and she wasn’t there to protest; she was there to capture the chaos that was around her.

” I [was] there to report, to document what was happening on the ground” said Goodman.

The prosecutor on the case, Mr. Erikson, said that what Goodman did “went beyond reporting”. I do not agree.

The role of a journalist is to expose their audience to the truth. It is to display the facts and inform people of what is going on around them. How are journalists suppose to accomplish this task if they are expected to stand on the sidelines?

Goodman and the Democracy Now! crew did the public a great service. They exposed millions of people to the issues of the Dakota Pipeline. If Goodman did not go onto the construction site that day, the impact would have been lost. The public would not have seen the events that occurred that day, and that is what matters most.

 

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