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Journalists arrested during "media blackout" as police evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from New York City park

At least seven journalists were arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City on Tuesday, Nov. 15, reported the Committee to Protect Journalists, which noted, "Journalists must be allowed to cover news events without fear of arrest and harassment. It is particularly disturbing that government officials sought to block any coverage of the event at all."

The journalists, who were released after a few hours, were arrested along with at least 70 protesters who were swept up after Mayor Michael Bloomberg told police to order demonstrators to leave Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, where they have been camped since the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement two months ago, explained NPR.

Journalists arrested include reporter Karen Matthews and photographer Seth Wenig of the Associated Press, Matthew Lysiak of the Daily News of New York, freelancer Julie Walker reporting for NPR, and freelancer Doug Higginbotham working for TV New Zealand, according to the Associated Press (AP) and the Guardian, which referred to a "media blackout."

In addition to the arrests of journalists, others are reportingbeing roughed up and blocked from covering the protesters being removed from the park, according to The New York Times and Mediaite. Airspace was even closed to CBS and NBC news helicopters, reported the Gothamist, which said "the NYPD didn't want you to see Occupy Wall Street get evicted."

Ben Doernberg has compiled a Storify documenting "press suppression" during the Occupy Wall Street evictions. He counted the arrests of eight "credentialed journalists." Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones, who tweeted that police hauled him out, managed to stay out of jail and thus cover the arrests.

And it's not just New York: The Columbia Journalism Review, noting that "Occupy protests present a new terrain of risk for reporters," said that in Portland, journalists from Oregon’s KGW-TV News must go out in groups of three to cover the protests so they can "look out" for each other.

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