When you think of nations that imprison reporters for doing their jobs, where do you focus?
Do you focus on African countries like Zimbabwe that are run by strongmen like Robert Mugabe? Or maybe you think of Iran, where free speech is in short supply? Does your mind drift to Russia, China or Cuba perhaps?
But of course you’d never think of America as one of those countries, right?
That’s because reporting in America is a Constitutionally-protected job. Under the First Amendment, you’re allowed to give people the news and make sure that they know what’s going on here. In fact, part of the function of the press is to keep the populace informed enough for them to make decisions on things that impact their lives.
Until yesterday, I believed that you could be a reporter in America without fear of arrest. I believed that you could cover stories no matter how unpopular and not have to worry about being carted away by police.
Then, as she often does, Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica’s Democracy Now! showed me that the America I thought I knew, and the real America, are sometimes two different places: