France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

– This one I definitely put under Culture – how not to do it and Politics – the wrong way.

– This sounds like some thing out of China.

– Something like this perhaps?

– I’ve placed the next post after this one intentionally. It is about a beating a policeman administered to a woman as he was arresting her. It was captured on a camera and is creating quite a row in Britain.

– Now, I have no idea what actually happened with this woman and I am sure that there are good and reasonable circumstances under which a policeman’s use of force like this would be justified. We’ll just have to wait and see how it comes out in the wash. But, the fact that there was a film means that if the beating was inappropriate, it will be dealt with. Without films like this, who knows what might happen and never come to the light of day.

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The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.

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