In the 21st Century, anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can work as a Journalist, with the creation of applications that transmit tips to users and then allows the Journalist to transmit and possibly sell their work to mainstream media outlets.
On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, PINAC’s very own Jeff Gray while responding to a request from Stringer to provide video or stills of a fatal motor vehicle accident on Southbound Interstate 95 in St. John’s County Florida, Jeff found a Fire Department employee who simply did not understand his role nor Jeff’s. Oddly this individual is not some rookie or someone without the knowledge and experience to know better, this person is a supervisor, a manager. This person directed the beam of his flashlight in order to blind Jeff’s cameras in an effort to interfere and deny, while making impossible for Jeff to do what he was there to do. Take video and images and sell them, and provide for his family.
This is not the first time this has happened and it is not likely to change until citizens address their elected officials to change the behavior or suffer the fate of a recall and removal from office
When one faces these issues, there is a process of complaint and both direct and indirect way of submitting a complaint, in this case, both Jeff and I contacted the St. John’s County Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Lt. Jeremy Robshaw
to address this issue and we were both promised that he would try to correct this and that should not have happened ever. He offered what he considered as possible solutions like, wearing a reflective vest or having media credentials, and yet history shows that makes little difference in the face of pure ignorance and spite. Another avenue in Florida and some other States is filing a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics It seems that one needs an expensive camera, a Live Shot truck, and a magical media credential to conduct a protected activity.