“AfroMaidan” and other foreign media perspectives on Ferguson

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Screenshot of Svobodnaya Pressa article calling Ferguson protests "Afromaidan." Article date: Aug. 13, 2014. Screenshot Nov. 25, 2014.
Screenshot of Svobodnaya Pressa article calling Ferguson protests “Afromaidan.” Article date: Aug. 13, 2014. Screenshot Nov. 25, 2014.

It’s always fascinating to see a foreign perspective on domestic news, and Ferguson is no exception. A number of news outlets have collected observations, some recent and some from August, on how the press outside of the US is covering the events that have unfolded since Michael Brown’s killing by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Predictably, some Russian state media have taken an opportunity to skewer the US, saying the protests are a sign of a coming race war. In August, for instance, Svobodnaya Pressa called the protests “AfroMaidan” (a reference to Euromaidan) with a subhed saying that the events are lesson for the world in American-style democracy (screenshot above). Max Seddon, writing for Buzzfeed and who you should follow on twitter if you’re interested in Russia, has another good roundup of Russian coverage of Ferguson, including translations of Russian memes and online jokes about the events.

Buzzfeed translation of Russian nationalist joke about Ferguson protests.
Buzzfeed translation of Russian nationalist joke about Ferguson protests.

According to the Washington Post, British publications have sent their war correspondents to cover Ferguson and they’ve drawn comparison to police response after 2011 riots in London (wiki). And the LA Times and Hollywood Reporter look at coverage from China, England, Russia, Japan, and Germany, though the Washington Post has better links to original reporting from those countries. In addition to the countries already mentioned, Al Jazeera shows what the media in Turkey, India, and elsewhere, have said about Ferguson.

Foreign Policy’s coverage of how Ferguson is covered from afar should not be missed, also. The piece offers a historical perspective, looking at how worldwide media, including the African press, covered early civil rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama.

Slate has a short piece on China and Iran’s coverage (here are English versions of heavy Iran coverage), which linked to the Wall Street Journal’s look at how China’s government has commented on Ferguson.

Related: Here’s Vox’s take on how US media might cover Ferguson if it happened in another country. The piece is in the same vein as Slate’s excellent “If It Happened There” series, which has a new entry today: America’s Annual Festival Pilgrimage Begins. Another photographer has been arrested while covering the news in Ferguson. And be sure to check out my previous posts on Ferguson: Court orders Ferguson police not to interfere with photographers and Ferguson: a fascinating and troubling study of visual politics, race, the police, and the media.

Court orders Ferguson police not to interfere with photographers

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Categories:

law, Links, News, Press freedom


As the news heats up again in Ferguson, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Missouri issued three orders to Missouri State Highway Patrol, City of Ferguson, and County of St. Louis, stating that police agencies must not interfere with those photographing or otherwise recording in public places. The specific language states that these police agencies are prevented from “interfering with individuals who are photographing or recording at public places but who are not threatening the safety of others or physically interfering with the ability of law enforcement to perform their duties.” The NPPA Advocacy blog has a short background on the cases that led to these orders, as well as links to the three orders.

Though these orders were in place over the weekend, at least one journalist, Trey Yingst, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly failing to disperse when asked by law enforcement. police have been ordering people not to stand on streets, but Yingst was not, according to an ACLU of Missouri statement about the arrest that says that eyewitness accounts of the arrest and video recordings show Yingst exercising first amendment rights to take video while standing on a sidewalk.

Poynter has a good page full of information for journalists heading back to Ferguson to cover the news as it unfolds, which also links to information about what you should do if you get arrested in Ferguson.

Related: Check out Poynter’s story about local high school student journalists covering the events in Ferguson. It’s a fascinating view on the news told by those who are living in the middle of it. One particularly interesting story from Kirkwood (High School) Call highlighted by Poynter focused on students from Ferguson facing difficulty getting to school when protests erupted.

And check out my previous post on the visual politics of Ferguson coverage while you’re at it.

UNC reaches settlement with Justin Cook over copyright infringement, will also hold public forum about creative rights

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This is wonderful news. After our post–one of this site’s most shared posts–on Justin Cook‘s futile attempts to get the University of North Carolina to acknowledge and correct its infringing usage of one of his photos, the University and Cook have reached a settlement. In a public statement on facebook, Cook wrote:

Yesterday The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and I came to a resolution. They agreed to pay my fee for their use of my image, and I agreed to drop my copyright claim on the condition that the Department of Psychology collaborates with me, the UNC School of Law, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Media Law Center and others to hold an interdisciplinary public forum about the importance of creative rights.

This resolution is a win for everyone that is more meaningful than what any lawsuit could have afforded us, and it’s consistent with UNC’s core values. A community of impassioned friends and strangers united and pushed us to this huge victory that will further build community and foster conversation. That’s The Carolina Way!

Justin Cook, 5 November 2014

This is, indeed, a win for everyone. Cook’s issues with non-payment and infringement have been resolved and the greater community, including the infringing parties, will be working together to educate the public about the rights of creative workers, which I’m sure will include coverage of how to respect the copyright of photographers. I don’t think I could’ve imagined a better outcome.

I’m especially happy for this news. I’ve known Justin Cook basically since my start as a photojournalist, when we spent time together at the Flint Journal in Michigan. He’s a heck of a nice guy and a great photographer. Make sure to check out his portfolio and his most recent project, Made In Durham, a look at the effects of homicide, incarceration and gentrification in Durham, North Carolina.