Social media has leveled the playing field of mass communication and, in some ways, helps make the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd possible. Mobile technology has shone a light on the treatment of people of color by police, allowed crimes to be documented, allowed protesters to organize and shown the heavy-handed response from law enforcement to the world. Continued coverage of the protests is public-interest journalism at its most raw and many of those directly affected are broadcasting events in real time.
New York Times staffers are banding together in protest after the paper ran an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) arguing that the United States government should call in the U.S. military to quash the people who are protesting the alleged murder of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer. (They are not the only newsroom staffers protesting this week.)
Police officers in Buffalo, New York used excessive force to disperse a protest against police brutality on Thursday, shoving a 75-year-old protester who posed no threat to them so hard that he fell to the ground and sustained a bloody head wound.
Photo: Wong Maye-E/AP
We are witnessing a truly unprecedented attack on press freedom in the United States, with journalists are being systematically targeted while covering the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.