Saturday, March 6, 2010

UC-Berkeley student journalist arrested

The Daily Californian, the student paper at UC-Berkeley, reports that one of its reporters, freshman Cameron Burns, was arrested Thursday while recording video of a student protest over cuts to higher education. He was among those arrested on Interstate 980. Daily Cal reporter Stephanie M. Lee wrote:
    Standing on the freeway on-ramp, Cameron Burns realized he had forgotten his press pass. What he had on his hands instead was a video camera and a protest that was about to unfold. ...

    "They're running onto the freeway," Burns said over the phone to Joanna Brockhouse, the multimedia coordinator for the student newspaper's Web site. "Should I follow them?"

    Brockhouse's last words, according to Burns, were: "Go get the story-go get it!"

    So he did.

    For the intended business administration major from Carlsbad, Calif., what began as a filming of the long-anticipated protests against education cuts culminated in a stint in
Burns was released Friday from a jail in Dublin. He is charged with obstructing a public place and unlawful assembly, the same charges as 150 others arrested on 980 face.

Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate for the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va., told the Daily Cal that student and professional reporters alike are frequently confused for demonstrators -- with or without their press passes.

"The best thing a journalist can do, professional or student, to avoid getting arrested is to make sure every officer they interact with is aware they're a journalist," he said.

The Daily Cal says Burns' parents were surprised by his arrest but will "absolutely" allow him to continue working for the newspaper.  (Photo credit: Daily Californian)

No comments: