hatte doch vor einiger Zeit über einen Blogger namens Josh Wolf berichtet, der in den USA vor Gericht kam, weil er sich geweigert hatte, das komplette Videomaterial von einer Anti G8-Demonstration in Schottland anno 2005 an die Polizei zwecks Strafverfolgung herauszurücken (siehe Spon dazu).
As one of the Internet’s earliest videobloggers, Wolf thrust himself onto the front lines of citizen journalism, uploading his politically spiked, home-grown content onto http://www.joshwolf.net. While bypassing old media gatekeepers — like editors and programming schedules — Wolf, 24, gained unprecedented access to the Web’s global stage, but he also fast won notoriety for his attempts to democratize the media. Last year, Wolf earned the wrath of Al Gore’s youth cable channel, Current TV, when he criticized the new station’s hiring practices along with its video submission policies on his blog. In protest, he started the Rise Up! Network, a non-profit alternative media site, where anyone can feature his or her own video work and retain exclusive rights.
Now the videoblogger is enmeshed in a new digital media controversy. On Tuesday, Wolf was thrown into federal prison for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury and for failing to hand over unpublished video footage he shot during a raucous clash on the streets between San Francisco police officers and anti-G8 protesters last year. Wolf posted some of the video on his blog, and some clips were aired on TV newscasts that later paid Wolf for the footage. But the feds are demanding to see everything that wasn’t made public. They allege that the unused portion of Wolf’s video may show the patrol car being set afire — part of a federal crime, the government asserts. Wolf denies there is an attempted arson on his videotape. The feds say they have jurisdiction over the case because the police car is partly U.S. government property since the S.F.P.D. receives federal anti-terrorism money….
This could also be a landmark case, since Wolf is the first blogger to be targeted by federal authorities for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury. „The courts have sent a clear message to journalists, bloggers, vloggers, and all citizens that the U.S. government will and can with the help of the federal courts make every person in the U.S. an investigative arm of the government,“ according to Jose Luis Fuentes, Wolf’s attorney. When asked if do-it-yourself media creators should be afforded the same legal protections that conventional journalists have, Fuentes replied, „All newsgatherers are theoretically protected by the federal and state First Amendment. In the context of free speech and newsgathering, all journalists are working for a democratic society whose very existence depends upon the free flow of information without government intrusion. Any attempt to draw a distinction is divisive.“
Mittlerweile wurde eigens ein The Free Josh Wolf Wiki eingerichtet, um Josh zu unterstützen. Im Zentrum steht das Interesse, analoge Rechte für Videblogger zu erkämpfen, die auch die Presse schützen.