Amazing how the last few weeks have been for the media in United States, huh? I would like to start off by saying I intern at the Phoenix New Times and am proud to see all this jazz go down in history.
The media are all around us, and most of the times we take the media for granted. One example of a medium would be the press. Just recently, the Phoenix New Times published a cover page article titled “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution” last week on details from a secret grand jury proceeding, knowing full well it would be illegal to do so. (The title says it all, doesn’t it?)
Writers and founders of the Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin wrote in the beginning of the article, “It is, we fear, the authorities’ belief that what you are about to read here is against the law to publish. But there are moments when civil disobedience is merely the last option. We pray that our judgment is free of arrogance.”
In a nutshell, Sheriff Joe Arpaio sued the Phoenix New Times for publishing his home address in 2004 online since it is illegal in the state of Arizona to publish a law enforcement officer’s address Web. Since then it has escalated to both executives Lacey and Larkin being arrested after publishing details of a grand jury investigation, including a subpoena demanding information about readers of that paper’s Web site going back more than three years.
What’s interesting is the response our society has to this case since it was made public.
According to EditorandPublisher.com, “Many member papers of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) are now providing links on their Web sites that inform readers to online sites which list the home address of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They say they are doing this in solidarity with the Phoenix New Times.”
Every news medium is talking about freedom of the press, and interestingly enough, those who have never read, or have not supported the New Times have shown their opinions too.
Some comments from the New Times article were:
“I was never a loyal reader to New Times, but this whole issue will make me the most loyal reader you have. I’m going to spread the word!”
“I support New Times 100% on this, and I am a conservative Republican. …. I was never a loyal reader to New Times …”
This reader has officially changed his political party (almost):
“I am a Republican and past supporter of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sadly, I also voted for Andrew Thomas in the last election. Sorry. (Voted for Dan Saban for Sheriff, though, phew!) I think the song from The Who best describes how I feel right now: “Won’t get fooled again”. Who am I voting for in the next election??? Anybody but Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas. That’s who!”
It’s interesting to see some people actually change their views based on one article they have read and from what they have learned from the news and online.
One blogger agrees how our society revolves around the media. She wrote, “We live in a fascinating world. It is a world of constant technological innovation, a world where the culture is created by creative advertisements and information is accessible with the click of a button. Media drives our economy, provides entertainment and supplies access to information. It plays an important role in our daily lives and influences the choices the make in whatever we do or buy.”