by ANN SCHMITZ
Is Josh Wolf a real journalist?
First impression of a journalist who spent 8 months in prison which is longer than any other journalist in U.S. history has served for protecting source materials. Josh Wolf, former freelance journalist, blogger and photographer just happen to be in the right place at the right time when he recorded footage that may show a San Francisco squad car being set on fire. This immediately sparked the feds attention and sent Josh Wolf into a burning ring of fire.
Wolf denied that he recorded arson on his videotape and hoped to receive protection under California's shield law, which protects those who have unpublished materials. When being interview by Time Wolf said, "If you try to assert your human rights, your basic constitutional rights, which we should have under law, you will be punished unmercifully."
The California shield law could have possible flaws because Wolf comments, "Absolutely, it was worth going to prison. It sets the ground for how necessary it is that we establish a federal shield law." The downfalls were, "the lack of any females in the environment was not too great," Wolf said.
When Wolf's 8 months he stated, "At the end of the day, the government really has no more than they did the day I was subpoenaed, so to that end I feel that this was a victory."
SPJ, society for professional journalist, was an advocate for Wolf being considered a journalist. According to the professional board Wolf is legitimate, making a blog a credible source of news. I think anyone can be a journalist it just depends if they take the effort to publish their work and report well.
Was this worth going to jail for? Wolf thinks so. Throughout the rollercoaster of events Wolf finds it bizarre that he is the center of his stories, which he didn't initially intend of having. To me he seems pretty self centered and not bizarre that his choices put him in the public eye. I don't agree with the kind of person he is but if asked if I thought he was a real journalist I would have to say yes.
Does it pay to obey? Wolf certainly doesn't think so.