Masters Thesis

Cameras, cops, and contention: the policing of independent media at the 2008 Republican National Convention

This thesis is a qualitative examination of the events of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul Minnesota. Specifically, I examine the detainment, harassment, and arrest of ten independent journalists before and during street protests surrounding this convention. Independent media represents an ideological counter hegemonic production and distribution of content that closely aligns with social movements. The journalists’ stories serve to illustrate how independent journalists organize themselves within the contentious environment of large protests as well as describe the phenomenon of political repression in the form of pre- emptive detainment, mass arrest, and surveillance. Also discussed are a variety of concepts closely related to the two main themes including the role of technology and the public sphere. With this research I connect literature on social movement repression with literature and ideas about independent media and contentious politics. This analysis describes how social movements and independent media have become altered organizationally by the political repression and strategic incapacitation of their members.