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Right to Bear Video Camera

August 12, 2014 4 Comments

I have recently watched footage from 1968 in a museum exhibit which included the Democratic convention in Chicago and other riots. As I see St Louis now drenched in violence over the shooting of another unarmed teenager of color I have a deja vu feeling. The riots of Watts and Detroit in the 60s were about the same issues we face today.  When the narrator speaks in the black and white footage shot 46 years ago he reveals the culture of the broadcast universe at the time.  Today news footage flashes across twitter at the speed of digital finger snapping, allowing a more complete story to emerge instantly.  The new cameraperson is the bystander who is ready to capture what happens with a phone.  The new commentary is done live on the scene by everyone.  The facts come out quicker and opinions are shouted  out on Youtube before you can say network newscast.  People have the facts caught on camera and distributed throughout the world before you can say Jessie Jackson.  Justice must now take into account the fact that everyone is now a reporter and every phone is an official source of news.  The editorial department has swelled to include anyone who has an opinion and chooses to voice it.  Do you think this democratic version of news reporting will be a remedy for social injustice?  Have you ever whipped out your phone to record evidence as something happened in front of you? Do you think we will know the truth and the truth will us us free, or do so many versions of the truth make the world more contentious?  What does the camera toting public change?  Do you feel safer now?

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