How Citizen Journalism is Changing Primary Coverage

In recent days, we have seen an assortment of shaky phone-cam video of protestors being shoved, put in headlocks and ejected from Donald Trump rallies.  Viewed in quick succession, these give an extraordinary glimpse into the violence that is voiced – and acted upon – at Trump rallies.

As the New York Times writes, “The phrase “Get ’em out” has replaced “You’re fired” in Mr. Trump’s vernacular, offering him an air of iron-fisted authority to buttress the image of toughness he projects.”

These phone vids are regularly being used in news footage, as in these Washpost and CNN news pieces.

A journalist from CBS, Sopan Deb, was even thrown to the ground by Chicago police on Friday night.   Deb, who is Indian, has written about how he has been singled out at Trump events,

At a rally in December, he tweeted, “A man came up to me to say ‘Go back to Iraq!’ I’ve never been!”

And in January, he tweeted, “A Trump supporter just asked me at Reno event if I was taking pictures for ISIS. When I looked shocked, he said, ‘yeah, I’m talking to you.'”

And one final link – to a piece by Michael Mayo, a journalist from the Sun Sentinel in Boca Raton, who captured on his phone the instant he was told to leave a Trump rally.  Go now, or go to jail, he was told, as he stood silently at a rally in a public park, in possession of an entrance ticket.  “Tell him we’re trespassing him,” a Trump campaign officer said.   The legal issues are more complex than they might appear, as Mayo wrote,

I violated no laws, rules or guidelines. I was not being disruptive.

I was exercising my First Amendment rights.

But as it turns out, I might have walked into a legal gray zone. Some legal experts said this isn’t a cut-and-dried case of being denied freedom of assembly or speech because Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t the government. It can still exclude and eject people from events for almost any reason, except race.

Class collaborative document is here

Assignment:  Device blogpost for March 20th.