One of the responsbilities of this position is to be the face of the organization. Today, I think I was actually its voice. I spent on hour on a Portsmouth, New Hampshire community radio show called “Portside.” The audio runs about an hour and it takes five minutes to get to the interview.
I’m not sure how large the audience was and former New Hampshire state lawmaker turned talk show host Burt Cohen was a friendly questioner. I have now done four interviews about the arrest of jounalists at the conventions in the past two days.
A couple of new things I have learned today about the RNC arrests. First, John Borger, the co-Sunshine Chair in Minnesota, said he talked to the St. Paul City Attorney today and the city is working through all the arrests to decide whether to procede with formal charges. It might be at the end of next week before any journalists have their citations dropped. Borger’s advice is to be patient.
Second, the mayor of Minneapolis R.T. Rybak, a former newspaper reporter, said the city will examine how it did on public safety matters during the convention.
Third, the National Press Photographers Association is also not happy with the outcome of last week’s convention and has told the St. Paul police chief.
The NPPA release say a photog is still in jail on gross misdemeanor charges. We are looking into that and we will try do what we can to get him out if he is still in jail.
SPJ is looking for all charges against journalists to be dropped and to open a discussion about how this might be avoided in the future.