Monday night at 7:15 PT, the Los Angeles Police Department held a lottery to decide which media could be credentialed for the LAPD Occupy LA media pool, in anticipation of the next raid. According to a mainstream media source who was there, the LAPD only wanted to allow one media outlet per medium (print, radio, television), but was persuaded to allow three of each:
the only media eligible for pool were those who were on the LAPD press release list and able to get to headquarters with an hour’s notice. So very few were represented at the meeting. I asked about independent radio/blogs and they said that only media with LAPD-issued badges would be allowed in the vicinity. I asked about those already at the camp, and they said after the unlawful assembly order everyone who doesn’t leave will be arrested, even those who are journalists. Our attorney was looking into whether there were legal challenges to be made.
No independent/citizen media was in the grab bag of media outlets selected. The LAPD Media Relations Department declined to tell me who was in the media pool, saying it was not for publication. Someone had called earlier and had been given the names and told the POI officer that they would not guarantee non-publication, so the officer was very wary. Why doesn’t the LAPD want that information released?
However a media source not in the pool relayed to me:
ABC, NBC and AP Video are the pool.
A print media source whose outlet is in the pool told me that Reuters, the LA Times (whose offices are across the street from Occupy LA, and would likely be within the LAPD’s perimeter, so they sort of have to be included) and
I think, the Daily News.
The source told me his/her employers were consulting with their attorneys and with the LAPD about the police department’s
restrictions on how we would be operating.
He/she said that each outlet is allowed one reporter who must be designated in advance. There is a separate pool for photographers.
There is concern from media that the LAPD may want to review material before publication or broadcast.
Under the LAPD’s guidelines, the OccupyLA media team–which includes photographers, videographers, livestreamers and reporters–is not credentialed.
There is no Spanish-language media in the pool in a city where 4.7 million people are Spanish speaking. As Monday morning’s midnight-plus-one deadline drew near, there were news crews from the BBC and a Tokyo station present, as well as KMEX (Spanish language). I saw KTLA which was live streaming and had a helicopter overhead, KNBC, KABC, KCBS/KCAL and stringers in unmarked vans. Reporters I ran into included ones from the LA Times and USC’s Daily Trojan, and dozens of people live streaming and taking pictures for blogs and independent media. Oh and Andrew Breitbart was there talking to some dudes with scarves over their faces.
The media presence played a huge part in keeping things nice Monday morning. When Occupy chanted
The whole world is watching
they were pretty close to the truth. The revolution is being televised. And if it weren’t being beamed into TV and computers around the globe, would the LAPD have acted with such restraint? One would like to think so, but odds are maybe not so much.
Breitbart photo: Linda Patron, used with permission
Note: Keven Gosztola will be live blogging events through the night, so tune in at The Dissenter for updates.