Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz, in today’s edition, discusses whether imprisoned blogger and photographer Josh Wolf is a journalist. Wolf, 24, is serving his 199th day in prison today for refusing to turn over a video he shot of anarchist protesters.
“Wolf’s rationale for withholding the video, and refusing to testify, is less than crystal clear,” Kurtz writes. “There are no confidential sources involved in the case. He sold part of the tape to local television stations and posted another portion on his blog. Why, then, is he willing to give up his freedom over the remaining footage?”
Kurtz quotes a UCLA law professor as saying that when something is taped in a public place — and that’s what Wolf did — “it’s hard to see even an implied agreement of confidentiality.”
Kurtz also quotes a court filing by U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan who says Wolf’s resistance “is apparently fueled by his anointment as a journalistic martyr” and that he needs “to come to grips with the fact that he was simply a person with a video camera who happened to record some public events.”
But Wolf’s mother tells Kurtz that she thinks prosecutors want her son to “testify so they can develop a list of who protests in San Francisco.”