Saturday, March 22, 2003

City Beat News Editor Arrested During Anti-War Protest
Greg Flannery, news editor of City Beat, was arrested on Friday during the anti-war protests downtown. Mr. Flannery's charge was obstruction of official business by refusing to move from the middle of a downtown street, according to court documents.

In the past I have strongly criticized City Beat's news coverage for being more opinion and less news, basically practicing what has become known as advocacy journalism. Many would not call it journalism at all, but in today's media world where everyone is a journalist, even I might qualify as one, making that charge against Greg or City Beat would not be fair. I do find this kind of participation in a news event to be a big problem. If Greg reports on this issue, I think it will be a huge blow to his credibility. The charge of creating news could be easily and correctly made. I hope Greg assigns another reporter to the story, and that he leaves out coverage of the local protest in his weekly column. A good journalist rarely gets involved with the story. That is why advocacy journalism is something I do not consider to be valuable journalism. It comes across more like propaganda one might read in the Worker's World.

The Enquirer and the Post both reported on the protests, with only the Post reporting the 6 arrests. I guess the Enquirer reporter left the protest early and missed the arrests.

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