Baseball91's Weblog

September 14, 2008


Leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists say they are outraged over the aggressive tactics used by police in St. Paul and Denver. Police interfered with the free flow of information, they say, and the constitutional guarantee of a free press.  Close to 2% of all the arrested were journalists, without indication if these journalists were affiliated with professional organization of self-proclaimed based on ownership of a camera and a pen. 


I have a large place in my heart for those members of the Society of Professional Journalists.  They support one another and belong to a communal organization greater than any individual, dedicated to the Truth, without bias.  In the days where the continued existence of a newspaper is at risk, with resulting vibrations to be felt on the democratic process in the future, what happened at the Republican National Convention has national importance. 


Of the close to 800 arrested, MnIndy has compiled a list of journalists from the Ramsey County Sheriff booking roster, from news reports, and from ”sources,” as to who were detained or arrested, including some preemptively.  Their list included journalists representing mainstream media, 8 journalists affiliated with student newspapers, on-line journalists, as well as a list of dubious journalists. 


a.         Tom Aviles, WCCO photojournalist

b.         Jonathan Malat, KARE-11 photojournalist 

c.         Matt Rourke, Associated Press photographer

d.         Ben Garvin, Pioneer Press photographer

e.         Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press reporter

f.          Amy Forliti, Associated Press reporter

g.         Jason Nicholas, New York Post freelance photographer

h.         Matt Snyders, City Pages

i.          Seth Rowe, Sun Newspapers, St. Louis Park community editor

j.          Stephen Maturen, Minnesota Daily assistant picture editor

k.         Jeff Schorfheide, Madison, Wis. Badger-Herald photographer

l.          Mark Skinner, University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebel Yell reporter

m.        Jim Winn, University of Kentucky journalism adviser

n.         Ed Matthews, University of Kentucky photojournalism student

o.         Britney McIntosh, University of Kentucky photojournalism student

p.         Christopher Patton, Editorial board member of The Daily Iowan

q.         Dean Treftz, U-Wire, national college news service  

r.          Ted Johnson, Variety managing editor

s.          John P. Wise, MyFox national editor

t.          Alice Kalthoff, editor 

u.         Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet  

v.          Paul Demko, Minnesota Independent


i.          Eileen Clancy, I-Witness Video, a New York-based media collective

ii.         Emily Forman, I-Witness video group

iii.        Malisa Jahn, I-Witness video group

iv.        Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! host

v.         Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! producer

vi.        Elizabeth Press, Democracy Now!

vii.       Nicole Salazar, Democracy Now! producer


1.  Matt Nelson, University of Iowa student

2.  Charlie B, MTV Think blogger (full last name unknown) 

3.  Joseph La Sac, Pepperspray Productions journalist

4.  Lambert Rochfort, Pepperspray Productions journalist 

5.  Anita Braithwaite, New York-based Glass Bead Collective

6.  Vlad Teichberg, New York-based Glass Bead Collective

7.  Olivia Katz, Glass Bead Collective

8.  Geraldine Cahill, The Real News

9.  Ania Smolenskaia, The Real News

10. Art Hughes, Public News Service

11. Nathan Weber, photographer, Chicago-area freelancer

12. Tony Webster, Twin Cities independent media professional

13. Suzanne Hughes, The Uptake, volunteer coordinator 

14. Wendy Binion, Portland IndyMedia

15. Mark Ovaska, Rochester freelance photographer  

16. Dawn Zuppelli, Rochester IndyMedia


Dawn Zuppelli has been identified as “a citizen-journalist” with the Rochester Independent Media Center.   I am not certain if this organization in Rochester, Minnesota was created just for the timeframe of September 2008.  It is of note that now that the convention was over, the Twin Cities Independent Media Center now refers readers to which is the self-proclaimed anarchists’ website of the RNC Welcoming Committee.’   In the “who we are” part of the webpage it is stated, “The RNC Welcoming Committee is an anarchist / anti-authoritarian organizing body preparing for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.”  

In no way were reporters of the Twin Cities Independent Media Center members of the Society of Professional Journalists.  The distortions of the free press reflect similar distortions of the recent past of those who set up private churches seeking the tax breaks of a church.  The undertow of the filed reports suggest anger at the organized news media. 


According to City Newspaper, “The highest-profile arrest was that of Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Goodman became somewhat of a martyr afterward, but video of her arrest clearly shows that she twice ignored a police officer’s commands before she was taken into custody.”  She also seemingly was in the news twice in 4 days in confrontation with police, suggesting perhaps that her behavior demonstrated she was above the law, and that she had some self-interest to come out of St. Paul with increased fame.      


Conflicting reports of the raid at a gathering place for I-Witness Video raid, in which one was arrested, over whether not police confiscated anything.  This article said that police had not.  I had read that equipment was in fact confiscated.  In other cases, however, authorities took cameras, notes, and other property.


To cover any event, a journalist needed credentials.  Some authority wanted answers to the question “Who are you covering the event for?”  Whether it was a state convention, the World Series, the power, the resources of the news organization a reported represented determined who would be accredited.  Most event planners wanted press coverage and desired that the public be informed?  Were these journalists more than “neighborhood reporters”?


“What they’re stealing is material.  Papers and computers and banners,” Dawn Zuppelli was quoted in City Newspaper, about one raid. “They’re stealing the message.”  (SEE


The Twin City Indy Media webpage prior to the RNC said:  With the RNC in the Twin Cities less than a month away, the propaganda machine of electoral politics is shifting into high gear. For months, corporate media in the Twin Cities has been trying to divide activists into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and and to justify the ridiculous police rhetoric about possible violence on the part of activists. If past conventions are any indication, we know that independent media will be critical for the defeat of disinformation, and that thousands will look first to the Indymedia network for the first updates straight from the street and the passionate telling of the truth from the Twin Cities.” 


In this case we had so-called journalists, citizen-journalists, intermingling the right to free speech and the right to assemble with access to report the news, without a concern about how their own action distort under case law the basic human right of a free press.  Real journalists were public servants, every bit as much as a peace officer.  Citizen-journalists looked like wolves in sheep clothing.   


1 Comment »

  1. Comment by baseball91 — May 30, 2015 @ 2:06 PM | Reply

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