Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

At DAPL, Confiscating Cameras as Evidence of Journalism

While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage.

One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept  (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.

Hafiz reports that after a morning of prayer, Standing Rock activists

were attacked by police forces who used pepper spray and beat protesters with batons…. Dozens of officers, backed by military trucks, police vans, machine guns and nonlethal weapons, violently approached the group without warning.

As the demonstrators attempted to leave, the police began beating and detaining them. Several Native American women leading the march were targeted, dragged out of the crowd and arrested. One man was body-slammed to the ground, while another woman broke her ankle running from the police. The military and police trucks followed the protesters, as nearly a hundred officers corralled them into a circle. Among the arrested were journalists—including Hafiz—a pregnant 17-year-old and a 78-year-old woman.

Once jailed, Hafiz and others were refused phone calls and received no food or water for eight hours. Women were  strip-searched, two women fainted from low blood sugar and another had her medication taken away.

On her release, Hafiz was told, “Your camera is being held as evidence in a crime.”

That crime, of course, would be journalism. And it’s hard to believe law enforcement would feel so cavalier about treating it that way if more reporters were actually committing it.

Since the last time FAIR checked on how much coverage corporate media were giving the Dakota Access struggle (FAIR.org, 9/22/16), ABC and NBC have ended their blackout, airing one story apiece on their national news shows: NBC‘s Today show (10/11/16) had 71 words about the arrest of actor Shailene Woodley at the site, and ABC‘s Good Morning America (10/23/16) ran 70 words on how “a protest over construction of an oil pipeline turned violent.”

For news from Standing Rock, people would do better to follow #NODAPL on Twitter, and check out resources like SacredStoneCamp.org and Indian Country Today.

 


© 2021 Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)
Janine Jackson

Janine Jackson

Janine Jackson is Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) program director and producer/co-host of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR's magazine, Extra! and co-edited "The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s" (2019).

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'What Happens When You Warm a Planet': Massive Flooding Kills At Least 8 in Seoul

"Two months' worth of rain in half a day. We are in a climate emergency," wrote meteorologist Eric Holthaus.

Jake Johnson ·


Trump Says Mar-a-Lago 'Under Siege, Raided, and Occupied' by FBI

"The accountability our democracy desperately needs for its survival might, just might, be a real possibility," said the head of a watchdog group.

Common Dreams staff ·


New Ad Against Herschel Walker Features Ex-Wife's Domestic Violence Accusations

A leader at the anti-Trump group behind the advertisement targeting the U.S. Senate candidate said that "our campaign is built around the voices of Georgia Republicans who know that he's unfit for office."

Jessica Corbett ·


Michigan AG Urges Probe of Alleged GOP-Led Effort to Break Into Voting Machines

"We must denounce the Big Lie and those who refuse to uphold the will of the people in our elections," said one democracy defender.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hopes Rise for Return to Iran Nuclear Deal Destroyed by Trump

"We stand five minutes or five seconds from the finish line," said one negotiator, who added that "three or four issues" that are "sensitive for Iranians and Americans" remain to be resolved.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo