Friday, October 02, 2015

News organizations sometimes chase amateur video of violent events

Eyewitnesses who take images of violent events and post them on social media are often chased by reporters, according to a “Style” section story in the Washington Post today by Paul Fahri, link.  The question is posed as “journalists or vultures” and the journalists are compared to paparazzi. 

I’ve never witnessed a violent act in progress, so I’ve never had original footage (which would like wind up as evidence with police anyway).  The problem would be particularly relevant to allegations of police shootings.
CNN’s Drew Pinsky last night also pointed out another problem, with people on social media egging on troubled people to carry out violent urges that they display (in relation to the incident in Oregon Oct. 1).  This would normally violate a site’s TOS but would not itself be illegal (usually) unless it provided direct aid or instruction.
It’s worthy of note that at least one university-based student reporter got into physical danger during the riots in Baltimore last April.

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