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Last updateThu, 02 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Monday, July 6th 2015 6:31

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Occupy LA: The Death of Mainstream Media

RETHINKING LA -The LAPD’s full-force eviction of Occupy LA from City Hall Park left a very crowded high road in its wake as the Mayor, the LAPD, and the occupiers all shared credit for their commitment to respect, restraint, and cooperation as the two month long occupation came to an end.


An estimated 1400 LAPD officers participated in the well planned operation to evict the Occupy LA encampment which had swelled to about 1000 participants who had prepared for the confrontation with training in nonviolent civil disobedience.

As the LAPD shed its hard core reputation and as the Occupy LA movement held to its nonviolent principles, it was the media who caved in and who were left behind as casualties on the battlefield.

Two nights earlier, the evening of the Mayor’s deadline, it was the media who drew the LAPD’s first threat of arrest when they swarmed to the Occupy LA encampment in such numbers that they prevented Commander Andy Smith from crossing the street from LAPD headquarters to City Hall.

The next night, the LAPD sent an email to the limited number of  “legitimate” media contacts in their files, giving two hour notice of a meeting where the LAPD would conduct a lottery to select the dozen media representative who would have access to the Occupy LA eviction.

While the notion of “legitimate” media is a subject worthy of great debate, it’s safe to say that the era of print, radio, and television dominance has long passed. The LAPD’s commitment to an antiquated paradigm of communication is in stark contrast to its demonstration of innovation in tactics and operations.

The LAPD participates in a notification service known as Nixle that allows the public to opt-in for law enforcement and public safety communications. Several days before the Occupy LA eviction, the LAPD sent out a message inviting the public to text “OLA999” to 888-777 in order to participate in the LAPD Occupy LA Information Messaging System.

The LAPD then sent a message on the 24th saying there would be no eviction that night and another message on the 28th asking the Media to move their trucks from Main Street.

That was it, no more, nothing.

Maybe the LAPD felt so comfortable surrounded by old friends from the “legitimate” media that they went back to their “pager” notification protocols.

As the LAPD Public Information Officers (PIOs) and those media representatives selected to participate in the LAPD’s approved Media Pool surveyed the Occupy LA encampment on the evening of the eviction operation, the “legitimate” media’s tenuous grip on its Fourth Estate role weakened as most pool members agreed to abstain from phone calls and from Twitter activity.

Two members of the pool broke the Twitter embargo but @StoltzeFrankly stayed safe with tweets such as "#OccupyLA massive police operation against OLA begins.” and “#OccupyLA Police issue ten minute dispersal order.” while @AntonioNBCLA forgot the #occupyLa hashtag and has only 138 followers so his tweets failed to find an audience.

The concept of a Media Pool isn’t new, it’s often used in controlled spaces such as courtrooms and it involves selecting press representatives who agree to feed their reports to a pool so that all participants share in the information, releases, photos, video, etc.

The problem here is that the Media Pool consisted of only media outlets approved by the LAPD, an organization that was unable to explain the process for certification other than that it involved “a letter from your boss explaining why you need an LAPD Press Pass.”  

The most disturbing failure of the “legitimate” media came when KCAL9’s helicopter coverage of the LAPD’s Dodger Stadium staging grounds went dark, victim to self-imposed censorship that came with the explanation "To protect the integrity of the police operation we are not showing you that shot right now."

As the anticipated battle between the LAPD and Occupy LA turned into a tightly orchestrated and well-choreographed display of professionalism and principle, the real struggle turned out to be one between the Main Stream Media and Citizen Journalism.

As the MSM kowtowed to the LAPD and traded their Fourth Estate cards for LAPD Press Passes, it was the public who fed the world with words, experiences, pictures, videos, commentary, narrative, interviews, and perspective. The tools were cell phones and mini-cams which fed Twitter, Facebook, and UStream.

The Main Stream Media television broadcasts required trucks and personnel which resulted in minimal coverage and maximum commercial breaks while reporters, tethered to their team, struggled to find the story.

The LA Times, to its credit, learned from the Citizen Journalists and rigged a UStream camera on top of their building for the night of the eviction, feeding a constant stream of video of the 1st and Spring intersection.

But, they were learning, not leading and it was individuals such as CrossXBones and Occupy Oakland Live who provided constant access to the encampment, to the police, to the spectators in the street, to the media, and to Mayor Villaraigosa and Chief Beck when they stepped out onto 1st Street to recap the eviction.

Let there be no mistake, the City of LA has much to be proud of, including the LAPD which established a new standard for peaceful engagement and the Occupy LA participants who stayed true to the principles of peaceful protest.

While the issue of 1st Amendment rights continues to get debated and the issue of the 4th and 14th Amendments gets overlooked and forgotten, there is still room to celebrate the fact that the LAPD and Occupy LA both left the battlefield victorious and with no casualties.

On the other hand, the Main Stream Media fell on its sword and dealt itself a near-mortal blow that has robbed it of any claim of “legitimacy” and any hope of sympathy from the public it betrayed.

Rising to the occasion comes the Citizen Journalist, UStream hosts such as SkyAdams and Spencer, photographers such as Alex ThompsonAlfredo Hernandez, Ivan Therrien and Richie Thomassen, and countless contributors to Twitter and Facebook that kept the conversation going, even as the “legitimate” media went silent and betrayed its audience.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at:       Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net .)  Photo credits: Alex Thompson (top); DailyKos.com (bottom)
–cw

Tags: Occupy LA, LAPD, LA Times, mainstream media






CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 96
Pub: Dec 2, 2011

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