The Washington Times-Herald

Our Perspective

December 1, 2011

Stop restricting journalism at 'Occupy' sites


Montgomery. AL —

We always encourage ethical journalists and news outlets to own up to mistakes and run a public correction when warranted.

It was in that spirit recently that the Society of Professional Journalists called upon the authorities in the cities where these arrests occurred and asked them to own up to mistakes and drop the charges against these journalists.

We also offered to host a series of public forums where journalists and law enforcement officials can have a frank and candid discussion of what happened in their city.

I'm hoping the mayors and police chiefs in these cities take us up on this offer.

Police and journalists both have jobs to do. However, no one in a democracy is served when reporters and photographers are improperly arrested or otherwise restricted for doing their jobs.


John C. Ensslin is the president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Contact him at


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