Case of NYT freelancer raises issue of journalist privilege

Natasha Lennard, a freelance reporter/tweeter for the New York Times, was dropped after she took part in a pro-Occupy Wall Street panel. This came after she was arrested by New York city police for disorderly conduct on the Brooklyn Bridge during an Occupy march that spilled from the presumably legal sidewalks to the driving lanes.

Natasha Lennard, a freelancer reporter for the New York Times, was taken off the Occupy Wall Street story after she appeared on a panel supporting the group. She now says she is leaving mainstream media.

This is what she wrote on salon.com after being told she would no longer cover the Occupy movement for the Old Gray Lady:

“As the Times publicly noted, they found no problem with any of the reporting I had done for them on OWS. Indeed, a court hearing upheld that I had been on the Brooklyn Bridge as a professional journalist and as such, deserved to have the disorderly conduct charge against me dismissed. The only reason I was on the Brooklyn Bridge that day was as a reporter, gathering and relaying information on what I saw, and nothing else.”

She wrote a remarkably detailed and even-handed tale of her arrest. You can find it here.

Detailed report

In her Salon column, she wrote that she was done with mainstream media and its standard of objectivity and rejection of truth-telling. Is it possible to claim journalist privilege and then claim a specific truth?

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