Governments and corporations run their organizations like the mafia, limiting contact outside of a small group of powerful individuals. The media’s role is to be inquisitive and help the public understand news and information about the world around them. Take a look at this video which documents a few of the tactics used by corporate and government spokespeople to avoid talking to the press, and how Amy Goodman and others force leaders to answer questions about their actions.
Amy Goodman starts off questioning Wells Griffith about the Trump administration’s climate policy pushing coal at the 2018 U.N. climate summit in Poland. Griffith refused to answer questions and ran from a team of camera operators for nearly a quarter-mile, retreating into the U.S. delegation office. In situations where you see a journalist questioning someone running away from them, it’s important to help document. Notice how others join in on filming while Amy chases Wells through the convention floor. Make sure you exchange information after events have conspired, ensuring the team that set out to document the interview has many different angles and records of the exchange.
When Amy visited the Republican National Convention and tried to question Charles Koch (Oil/Chemical Billionaire), a team of people physically block the team of journalists (who were invited there to interview the attendees like Charles Koch). Amy instead started to interview those who engaged in stopping her from interviewing Charles Koch, questioning Ed Cox, chair of the Republican Party of New York and the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon. After the experience, Amy reflects on the tactic being used and explains that this is a common way everyone from presidents to corporate owners avoid being confronted about their actions in public forums.
When corporate and government thugs take questions on a panel, it is extremely helpful to the public for the media to ask the same question of each panelist. When Amy asked the last question at the only United States organized panel at COP23, the crowd in the room helped enforce the truth by not letting officials spread lies. When a person sits on a panel for a corporation, they are being employed (as their selves) to represent the corporation or government.
The right to ask questions is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, some mafia organizations (such as the St. Paul-Minneapolis Police Department) have been deployed in defense of the state to censor journalists at the Republican National Convention, which utilizes the existing social order of a community to divide the population against one another. Governments and corporations use these tactics to nudge communities into obedience, as is evident when local police working with the US Secret Service waged a battle with tear gas and other lethal weapons against journalists and citizens covering and protesting presidential conventions.
Amy Goodman ensured the St. Paul-Minneapolis Police and US Secret Service (or any other law enforcers) are trained on how to work with members of the media – not to engage in arrests of reporters, or arrests for anyone. Amy designed the training manual which is now used to train police on the rights of citizens and journalists in public. Ensuring that police (or any other mafia ruled organizations) do not overstep their authority is the best way to heal communities which have been divided.
When attending press conferences, the role of the press is to ask questions that give the public a clear view from various perspective about what is going on. Every day people are holding press conferences all across the earth – in fact, if you can’t find one on any given day you should probably hold one of your own. Take a few minutes to identify an upcoming press conference that you think would benefit the public by adding a layer of scrutiny to whatever is being publicized. You can attend the event in person or watch a broadcast or internet version. If questions arise, contact the press department (typically the contact email for the press contact or the organizations phone number can get you in touch with the Marketing or Media/Public Relations department. Simple questions might be best asked on the spot, where more detailed questions may warrant you requesting an interview from the organization. Find time to regularly attend some conferences (either in person or online) and be sure to document any responses you get by identifying the person’s name, organizational title, and understanding a little about their role within the organization.
After attending and documenting your first press conference, publish your work and see what the public has to say about it. If more questions arise after publication, it might be worth asking to do another interview with either the same individual or someone else in the organization.
If an organization denies your request for an interview, you can hold your own press conference, or attend a public event where the person you wish to interview will be in attendance to ask your questions in a public forum with other media present to document your interview. Your voice as a journalist represents the questions your audience will rely on for public information. If your interview goes viral like many of Amy Goodman’s interviews where she chases down public figures to ask them questions about their actions, an overwhelming response from the public can be the critical catalyst for community protection and security from government and corporate thugs.