The gentleman you see on the screen is Wesley Lowery. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of two reporters arrested in Ferguson back in August 2014. He and Ryan J. Reilly were at a McDonald’s, a staging area for journalists.
(You can read more about the arrest here: In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest.)
While Reilly hasn’t been charged, Lowery has been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer.
He Skyped in at today’s Law and Media seminar speaking about his experience and the effects after his arrest. In addition, he spoke of the stat analysis of people killed by police within the last year. You can view this report at WashingtonPost.com.
Lowery said social media is a place to be human, a place where people can watch the reporting process, give information from the ground as the scene unfolds.
He is a reporter of the Washington Post and has covered other big stories such as ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez’s murder case. Since the arrest, he has returned to Ferguson a dozen times to continue his coverage there.
The case is still pending and Lowery is due in court in August.
Out of all the panel discussions at the Law and Media seminar, this one stood out the most to me. It made me think about my coverage of the protest on campus the other day. The rally was about Sandra Bland and police brutality, and I and the photographer had to constantly run in order to get ahead of the marchers and get good shots.
While the photographer’s pictures will be used in my article, I took some of my own because of the moment. As Lowery said, it’s a place where you give information from the ground.
You listen to the speeches, you watch the interactions amongst the people (those for and opposed). You write down quotes and observations, and you take pictures or video to accompany your words, because you were there, and you want the audience to see what you witnessed.
It’s one of the most exciting feelings in the world, and listening to Lowery’s words of his experience adds fuel to a fire within me to keep reporting, to tell the world stories they need to know.