Local Newsman Says Recent Incident at Danbury Library Is Not Journalism
An incident at the Danbury Public Library has sparked an internal investigation by the Danbury Police Department, and at the center, is a YouTuber who considers himself to be a journalist.
The YouTube video in questions, which has been widely covered and discussed throughout the community in the past couple of weeks, is titled: "VIOLATION OF RIGHTS BY TYRANTS AT THE LIBRARY! LAWSUIT FILED! 1A AUDIT FAIL!" (VIDEO BELOW)
In the video, the social media personality tests the Police Department's understanding/application of the 1st Amendment, as it pertains to filming in public places, and the conclusion from the man, is that the Danbury Police Department failed this test.
We spoke to Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo last week and he says the city's lawyers disagree with this failing grade.
After the Danbury PD announced it would investigate its own, the YouTuber launched another video to announce the investigation and explain his actions while largely being applauded by his followers. In that video, and in similar content on the man's YouTube channel, he continually refers to himself as a journalist. Mike Allen says not so fast.
Mike Allen is the former News Director at i95 and was at one time, the President of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters association. Mike contends what happened at the Library is anything but journalism, saying, "I got honked off when I heard the word journalist."
During the course of our conversation, Mike went on to explain the following:
"The number one thing about journalism that's really important is that when you go to work in the morning, you're supposed to put your biases, leave them at the door and you're supposed to be covering news, information, activities and bringing that to your audience. You're supposed to be doing this for a bonafide news organization.
The best journalists really bend over backwards to make sure they gave both sides of the story. That's what you're supposed to do. You are not supposed to be throwing your opinion into anything. You know, I may detest something that somebody says -- I may, inside, you know my personal opinion may be I really don't like it. And that happened to me a lot over the years when I was covering news because you get into some pretty contested issues, but, you still have to give that person their due. If they're a public figure or something else, you've got to let the audience decide, not you decide, not throw your opinion into it.
There is something called advocacy journalism, where you have sort of a thrust on something you are going for, you want to show people that this is maybe wrong in society, but still, even then, you go and interview both sides. You might, as an advocacy journalist, ask tougher questions of the people that you are advocating against, but still, you give both sides a chance to comment. I don't see that at all."
You can listen to our entire interview with Mike Allen in the video player at the top of the page. Below are the Youtube videos from the "journalist" so you can decide for yourself.
Mike Allen is also the man behind the research and storytelling for a segment we do on the Ethan and Lou Show called "The Place You Live." You can hear Mike take us on a deep dive into a fascinating local human interest story every Tuesday on the Ethan and Lou Show between 8-9 am.