At Occupy L.A. eviction, police restrict media coverage

Los Angeles Police often create limited media pools for high-profile events, such as the Michael Jackson trial. But does the same kind of pool make sense for a police raid on Occupy?


Members of Occupy Los Angeles protesters are pulled down and arrested from a tree house in their protest encampment by Los Angeles Police Department officers Wednesday. (Kevork Djansezian/GETTY IMAGES)

Restriction of the media by police during raids on Occupy protesters has been a recurring issue, including during the recent raid on Zuccotti Park. During that raid, NYPD effectively created a media-free zone around the action, keeping reporters out of the park and the airspace clear overhead. At the time, the hashtag #mediablackout became widespread on Twitter as journalists expressed their frustration.

on Wednesday, that hashtag was resurrected as the raid on Occupy Los Angeles began and all “uncredentialed” media were moved out of the area.

Other restrictions on the press were soon reported. Local station KCAL9, which was running an aerial live stream of the officers being deployed, reportedly stopped the stream because they had “made an agreement with LAPD not to reveal their tactics.” Those media who were allowed in to the park were told not to use their cell phones or tweet, according to L.A. Weekly. (Several reporters tweeted anyway, including NBC4's Antonio Castelan.) And KNX news radio radio said its reporter at the scene was “embargoed” from providing information until the eviction was over.

L.A. Weekly, which has posted 10 updates to their story on the media restriction, wrote Wednesday: “The whole thing smacks of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's obsession with having the Occupy experience turn out swimmingly in his harmonious kingdom -- and of City Hall and the LAPD's utter incomprehension of media in the 21st century.”


(Courtesy of UC Student Association)
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