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A Canary in a Coal Mine

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 7 months ago

A Canary in a Coal Mine

Blog from December 18th, 2006 - www.JoshWolf.net/blog


Although my plight has garnered some attention from the media, some people have been left to wonder why the story has been neglected by much of the mainstream press. The simple answer is that I am the canary in the coal mine that they are afraid to acknowledge.


Canaries were used in mine shafts to act as early warnings that the environment had become poisonous – if the bird dies then the miners knew they would be next if they didn’t do something to remedy the situation.


As an independent jouralist and videoblogger, I am more vulnerable than my corporate equivalent. As an individual who focuses on civil dissent, this is doubly so. By throwing me in jail and asserting my rights as part of the free and independent press guaranteed in the constitution, I should serve as a warning sign of things to come. It should trigger alarms to journalists far and wide; to some extent it has.


At the same time, the mainstream media has not exactly embraced the so-called "citizen journalist" movement with open arms; some are afraid their careers may become obsolete. It may be a result of this defensive attitude that many news outlets have turned a blind eye to my situation – after all, I’m not employed by a multinational media conglomerate, so how can I be a “real journalist”? But like that canary, my situation is only a precursor to what is likely in store for the future.


My fear that I will have to tell my children about the days when there was a free press is not unfounded; it is a fear that did not materialize when the FBI showed up at my door. The experience has simply been the confirmation that I expected would come sooner or later.


But when I do have children, at least I’ll be able to tell them that I did what I could to sound the alarm. I may be a canary in a coal mine, but I’m not dumb.

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