A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer was arrested while covering an “Occupy” demonstration, nation, raising questions about how police should define and handle reporters documenting the protests, says the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Police contend that it often is difficult to separate the journalists covering the events from those participating.
The Sentinel’s Kristyna Wentz-Graff was photographing the arrest of a protestor last Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, when she herself was restrained and arrested by an officer. Milwaukee police Department said Wentz-Graff and two protestors they arrested ignored repeated orders to clear the streets. The newspaper disputed that account. Reporters have been arrested at the original Occupy Wall Street protest in New York. The Columbia Journalism Review in an article titled “Who's a Journalist?” wrote critically of the New York City Police Department's policy of credentialing journalists.
Editor’s Note: TCR’s Jeremy Kohler also offers an in-depth look at ongoing issues of cameras and policing in his recent piece “Cameras, Cops and the First Amendment.”