The War on Journalism: Local to Federal

By Derrick Broze – Activist Post –

The battle between a free press and the State has been ongoing since the first days of the printing press. The notion that the citizenry could keep tabs on officials and report back to their respective communities revolutionized the master/servant relationship. For once the people were not doomed to remain ignorant while politicians, and royalty robbed them blind and deaf. Awareness was allowed to grow and swell until bursting into a new era of an informed, educated, and active populace.

This development, however, was not viewed fondly by the established ruling class around the globe. Some States completely destroyed the idea of a free press by merging the government with the media. Others simply worked with corporations to monopolize and direct the information reported on by the media. Beyond media manipulation the free press has also been subject to more direct attacks on journalists, and news organizations.

Local Journalism Under Attack

In my personal pursuit of information as an independent journalist I have met resistance and closed doors as a result of asking tough questions. Recently I have been dealing with a firsthand account of the attack on and narrowing of the definition of journalism.

Over the past 4 years as an activist with the Houston Free Thinkers (HFT)I have veered more and more into the role of journalist, occasionally wearing both hats at the same time. For example, I will attend a protest or rally that I helped plan with the HFT, and later report on the action in an article for Activist Post, or another media outlet I write for. This distinction between activist, and journalist is a blurred one and ultimately unnecessary, as all free humans in the United States are guaranteed freedom of the press, as noted in (but not granted by) the Constitution.

In April 2013 HFT was leaked emails and an image confirming that the Houston Police Department was monitoring our activities. We investigated the matter by attending City Council meetings, calling the Mayor’s Office, and emailing council members. I even attempted to interview the Mayor regarding the issue (and others) but she ran away from my questions.

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