The role of The Snitch

The intent of this post originally was to complain in a long-winded fashion about the web site re-design of a particular trade journal. But -- despite that site's front-page affront of social media bugs and engagement links -- I homed in on the piece about vandals targeting a photojournalist at The Olympian newspaper.

First, a quick return to the complaint intention: This trade-journal web site (for the traditional, print-media industry) linked to KOMO's video about anarcho-terrorists vandalizing the newspaper's office and its employee. That irony made me facepalm. I mean: if it's about a newspaper's photographer, shouldn't we expect that newspaper to have the most relevant story? Hmm...yeah, well.

Turns out that KOMO went live with a report from outside the offices of The Olympian. Plus, KOMO gave the photographer ample seconds to explain his feelings about the situation (local anarchists spray-painted their accusation that he is a "snitch" for taking photos of them while protesting in public). The newspaper's site had a couple of quotes from the photographer, but I'm not sure they conveyed the same emotion. KOMO probably had more human interest thrown into the story than did the subject's own newspaper.

That irony should have been enough, but then we've got anarchists fighting against a journalist! Hunh? Could there be a better ally for anarchists than a journalist? These people are part of the reason anarchy gets a bad reputation. Anarchy is not a synonym for terrorism. The word's etymology, for me anyway, implies not simply lack of a leader, but rather a turning away from submissive representation to self-governance or true democracy. That can't be done without accurate, reliable, and relevant information. Some of that kind of information comes from photojournalism, even if it might appear to be "snitching."