Thursday, February 15, 2007
Josh Wolf, videographer and blogger, is now the journalist imprisoned longest in U.S. history for refusing to comply with a subpoena. He has been locked up in federal prison for close to six months. In July 2005, Wolf was covering a San Francisco protest against the G-8 Summit in Scotland (G-8 stands for the Group of Eight industrialized nations: Britain, France, Russia, Germany, the U.S., Japan, Italy and Canada). He posted video to the Web and sold some video to a local broadcast-news outlet. The authorities wanted him to turn over the original tapes and to testify. He refused.
In a recent court filing, U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan says it’s only in Wolf’s “imagination that he is a journalist.”
The Society of Professional Journalists must be equally imaginative. Their Northern California chapter named Josh Wolf Journalist of the Year for 2006, and in March will give him the James Madison Freedom of Information Award. “Josh’s commitment to a free and unfettered press deserves profound respect,” SPJ National President Christine Tatum said.