My 49 hours in a Baltimore cell – for being a reporter

I was one of hundreds confined in squalid, overcrowded cells with inedible food and rights ignored waiting for a criminal charge that in my case never came

by Shawn Carrié of vicenews for the guardian

Image:  Jim Bourg

Their recent performance in office and at the hustings subject to widespread media and voter skepticism, incumbent Premier Jim Prentice and the Alberta Progressive Conservatives nonetheless managed to secure the endorsement of the four largest papers in Alberta, the Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Sun and Calgary Sun. In one case, instruction to endorse came from the papers’ parent company, Toronto-based Postmedia.

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We’re about to get meta: Yossi Lichterman from the Nieman Journalism Lab, which explores trends and new thinking in journalism, called me up to talk about this very Tumblr. It resulted in this piece in which Elise Goes East’s co-parents, Claire, Danny and Wright, also weigh in. Thanks to the team and thanks, Nieman Lab!


‘War Machine’ Captures a Photographer’s Pride in the Independence of Georgia

When the Soviet forces invaded Georgia, Tbilisi-based photographer Giorgi Shengelia’s great-grandfather gave his life protecting his country. The date was February 1921, and Georgia had been independent for only three years following the 1918 Russian Civil War and the dissolution of the Russian Empire, and it would be another seventy before it regained its independence with the fall of the Soviet Union.

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White America usually only sees its violence written so plainly on the bodies of black men in sports arenas. We only see the injuries as collateral damage, or as a single festering wound—that part of the city we don’t go to, the part of history we ignore. And Fox News usually is a core part of the apparatus that helps hide that violence—puts a sheet over the body, or dresses it up in mythology and legend. Fox News usually doesn’t show the physical toll of any of the various wars the America is engaged in, unless the injury can be used to justify continuing them.

But in that live shot from Baltimore, because of Freddie Gray, the unblinking eye was forced to see. The raw evidence of Keith Watson’s bloody torso was right there, itself prompted by the soul-sickening immediacy of Gray’s own injuries.

To be shot to death, in America today, is a tragically clinical media event. It is too common to inspire visceral reaction. It is too ingrained in a narrative of justified force—cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, good guys and bad guys—to summon immediate sympathy.

For white Americans, dying by gunshot means you must have been doing something wrong. (That almost 90 percent of adult white male firearm deaths are suicides complicates this comforting thought, so it has to be ignored.)

But a severed spine. A broken neck. The mere repetition of those words conjures queasy fidgeting, and there is no other way to describe what happened to Freddie Gray.


While Washington partied, here’s what was happening in Baltimore

While the media celebrated in D.C. with a menu that included crabmeat terrine, paprika-rubbed filet mignon and seared Alaskan halibut, an hour away in Baltimore protests over the death of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police had reached a crescendo. Attendees at the D.C. event wore Forevermark diamonds and Armani tuxedos; people in Baltimore wore shirts saying #BlackLivesMatter and carried signs decrying police brutality. Others wore riot armor and clenched batons. An alarming symbol of America’s larger problem.


This week, the World in Protest

1: Istanbul, Turkey. ©  Kemal Aslan 

2: Baltimore, USA. © Eric Thayer

3: Milan, Italy. © Alessandro Bianchi 

4: Bujumbura, Burundi.  © Thomas Mukoya

5: Bogota, Colombia.  © Jose Miguel Gomez

6: Newark, USA.  © Andrew Kelly 

7: Baltimore, USA. ©  Eric Thayer

8: Bujumbura, Burundi.  © Thomas Mukoya

9: Taiwan, Taipei. © Patrick Lin

Watch: Jon Stewart’s takedown of Judith Miller is why he’s irreplaceable 

The biggest reason we’re going to miss Jon Stewart come August was exemplified on Wednesday night’s show. He faced down guest Judith Miller, the former New York Times reporter who helped the Bush administration sell the story of the Iraq war to the American people. Ostensibly, Miller was there to promote her book The Story: A Reporter’s Journey. But Stewart had questions, tough questions..