Read this Storify of social media coverage of the First day of the NATO protests in the week leading to the Chicago summit
In my efforts to excavate the details surrounding the security issues faced by the NATO Summit, I have found that the threat of international terrorism is just as fearful as the threats posed by domestic anarchist groups. The juxtaposition of these two issues was unintentionally formed after reviewing the footage gathered from interviewing DePaul University professors Thomas Mockaitis and Joseph Schwieterman.
My partner Bartosz Brezinski and I met with both professors after I contacted them to determine what time and date would be best. Both interviews took place in the office of each professor. We interviewed Prof. Schwieterman first. With his extensive background in urban transportation and public policy, he gave us solid information concerning issues of traffic and general public safety. He mentioned to us that the most probable threat comes from violent anarchist groups, expressing his concerns about the possibility of protestors getting out of hand.
Dr. Mockaitis a professor of history, has an vast background in international security and is an expert on U.N. operations in the Middle-East. He gave us sound information concerning the looming threat of international violence and how he believes that a terrorist attack is a far more serious concern than rebellious protestors.
Because of the information gathered from these interviews I expect that when covering the summit over May 19-21 that large crowds will incite security personnel to be very uptight. Though I’m sure the summits will be contained and most people will be well behaved, there will more than likely, be a number of arrests made.
I also expect that by covering the summit, tweets about the summit will be vital to most news networks. The events, the speeches, the protestors’ chants, and the overall impact of the summit will be trending topics on Twitter. In my coverage of the event I hope to speak with several people, and possibly even witness an arrest.
Thanks to the advances of technology, journalism is being shared through various mediums. You may have seen web content on broadcast news channels or heard an online radio show. The lines that have once separated broadcast journalism are all becoming blurred and repurposed.
Repurposing content simple means to format news from one platform to another, catering to the needs of the viewers. This means that radio content should be transferable to television or television to Web and visa versa. ”The most important point is the obvious — broadcast news is no longer limited to the airwaves. Modern broadcast news operations must maintain a prominent Web presences to stay competitive.”
Not only is repurposing ideal for the spreading of journalism, it is also beneficial for the business aspect of journalism. One of the better advantages of repurposing content is how “inexpensive” it is to brand and disseminate information to the community.
Technology has allowed for live reporting to be easier and allows a more cohesive style of storytelling . Online reporting allows viewers to receive the news they want, when they want it. When news content is provided through online media, it has longer sustainability. Photographs, video clips, and written content can be saved and re-examined at the viewers expense. In terms of video, it is the highest in demand, but takes a little longer to share with audiences.
With the popularity of electronic journalism, it is common to see a variety of angles taken to tell the same story. This allows journalist to determine which way is the best way to tell a story. Accuracy and speed have long been the staples of good, responsible reporting and online journalism has undoubtedly become a commodity to the art of story-telling allowing journalist the opportunity to be better reporters.
Potential threats from violent anarchist groups are the leading concern for Chicago city officials during the NATO Summit, a homeland security expert said.
NATO will hold meetings at May 20 - 21, in McCormick Place. The event anticipates over 5,000 attendees including President Obama and 50 heads of state.As many as 50,000 protestors could arrive in Chicago as well.
The anarchist groups Anonymous and Black Bloc are suspected to be in attendance. These groups “are only interested in the destruction of the city as part of their strategy to get their message out” said Don Zoufal, a safety and security executive for System Development Integration.
To avoid the possibility of violent protests, city officials have passed new ordinances aimed at prospective activists in order to amplify safety measures.
Anticipated regulations include, surveillance cameras throughout the city, restrictions on parade locations, registering oversized signs or banners, and the Chicago Police Department’s power to deputize different types of law enforcement personnel. “Crowd control is important for safety and for the preservation of property” sayss Zoufal. He goes on to say that crowd control comes in various forms besides police enforcement, “it’s fire, its EMS, it’s all those services we deliver to the citizens of Chicago on a day-to-day basis.”
Officials anticipate the presence of Black Bloc, a violent anarchist group and computer-hacking group, Anonymous. “We expect members of the organization Anonymous to be there.” Zoufal said, that the group’s goals may be “narrowed to causing significant damage to property and people. They like to engage in mischief, such as publishing embarrassing content on police.”
The apprehensions of police officials are a “legitimate concern about criminal activity”said Zoufal. While the majority of activists are non-violent, there are those who aim to disrupt. It can sometimes be hard to distinguish who’s who among the protestors. Zoufal stresses that the key is to determine when to “break up conspiring violence versus someone who merely advocates violence” without having to impinge on anyone’s First Amendment rights. With the Occupy Chicago organization planning to rally at the summit, several hot button issues will be stirring up tension.
Despite the G8’s decision in Feburary to relocate to Camp David, activists of the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 Poverty and War Agenda still plan to rally in Chicago. They released a press statement saying, “We and tens of thousands will be in the streets that day for a family friendly rally and march, with cries so loud they will be heard in Camp David and across the globe.”
The G8’s move to Camp David has affected more than the protestors target audience, but has also placed some institutions at a disadvantage. Zouful mentioned that DePaul Law School graduation has been relocated because of the summit and that the school’s Loop campus will be closed during May 18-21.
In other efforts, some universities will be closed during the summit. Several local businesses near McCormick Place also plan to alter their hours of operation to avoid chaos.
Another issue has been the decision whether and where to install public sanitation facilities. Zoufal said , with the inclusion of out-of-town activists, port-a-potties will be a major concern for a city that is already heavily populated. “A million people? I can anticipate a couple are going to have to use the bathroom,” said Zoufal jokingly.
Although the U.S. Secret Service is in charge of security plans, local Chicago authorities will work with them to execute their plan.