Exposed at a new battle in an ancient war



Exposed at a new battle in an ancient war

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 24, 2016) — Excerpt of Article: For the past month a Houma website and related Facebook page have garnered unexpected attention, fueled in large part by a resulting criminal investigation, with seizures of laptops and cell phones.

The closely-watched drama, now playing out in a Louisiana appeals court, is not unique to Terrebonne Parish, however. Interviews with law professors, free speech advocates and law enforcement officials show the controversy as a mere tile in a mosaic of conflicts between citizens and public officials. What was once a battle between scribes’ pens and officials’ swords has morphed into a war between keyboards and the power to jail or otherwise sanction.

Expert observers appear to agree that both the critics and those criticized are, however, wading in new waters that rise over the heads of those on both sides, resulting in abuse of powers each holds.

“Police powers are being used against media, in particular citizen media activists who like to tweet and Facebook,” said Joshua Azriel, a communications professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. “You have the woman who takes out her cell phone at an open Republican political event and gets arrested. In Georgia there is a court case related to a judge who had a blogger arrested. Officials are literally uncomfortable with the fact that all of us can hold media in our hands.”

By JOHN DeSANTIS Senior Staff Writer​

Name of Publication:
The Times

Link to Article:


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