Comments: 485 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

jdith123760 karma

How do you balance giving a true account of a protest vs. showing viewers the most exciting thing that happened? I mean suppose 95% of what’s going on is people protesting peacefully, and just a few hotheads are smashing things. How do you choose your subject? Even If you take 100 pictures, isn’t an editor likely to pick the most exciting one?

CapableSuggestion143 karma

Sorry you got downvoted. This is a good question and OP is an adult who can calmly and professionally answer this, it’s not meant as a criticism. A journalist would be comfortable being asked this

jdith12369 karma

Thanks, it wasn’t meant at all as a criticism, well maybe of editors, or or the whole news system... not of the photographer.

But it’s a pattern I see: “If it bleeds, it leads”

Galactonug30 karma

Eye on the TV, 'Cause tragedy thrills me, Whatever flavour, It happens to be like; Killed by the husband, Drowned by the ocean, Shot by his own son, She used the poison in his tea, And kissed him goodbye, That's my kind of story, It's no fun 'til someone dies,

Don't look at me like I am a monster, Frown out your one face But with the other, Stare like a junkie, Into the TV, Stare like a zombie; While the mother Holds her child Watches him die Hands to the sky crying Why, oh why? 'Cause I need to watch things die From a distance

Vicariously I, live while the whole world dies; You all need it too, don't lie

Why can't we just admit it? Why can't we just admit it?

We won't give pause until the blood is flowing. Neither the brave nor bold. The writers of stories sold. We won't give pause until the blood is flowing!

Vicarious-Tool (excerpt)

Edit: Added punctuation; since it seemingly can't format without being obscenely long.

ACatWithNews12 karma

Not a question, but definitely one of the better Tool songs!

Galactonug2 karma

OMG it's you! Hey I actually don't think I have one. Just wanted to say respect. I come from a line of journalists/writers/community activists on one side of my heritage and I know what you do can be tough and sometimes dangerous work.

If you desire a random question: What's your most memorable childhood story?

ACatWithNews3 karma

Most memorable childhood memory? Honestly, it’s sort of a sad one. My uncle Brian lost his life via suicide, and I vividly remember his funeral. The drama, the ceremony, watching “Major League 2” in the... I guess you’d call it a green room?

ACatWithNews88 karma

I’m blessed in some ways in that I don’t work specifically for any one person.

I point my camera at whatever I think is the most newsworthy thing going on at that moment: it can occasionally be difficult(more like 99.5% I’d say) to balance, say a speech that’s going on while a small amount of protestors are confronting police for example.

I tend to move heavily towards arriving early and getting speeches and such when I can, in case I don’t have that opportunity later.

ACatWithNews56 karma

It also bears mentioning that much like @itsabeeinaboat I would say that if 5% of what I shoot all ended up being utilized in some way I’d consider it to be a very productive day.

hackflip30 karma

On the other hand, if 1000 protestors March through my city and only 5% of them destroy things, I don't find it comforting that only 50 people burned down my city.

gamercboy547 karma

But the problem I have is why is the 5% of people getting 100% of the news coverage? With a protest so massive why are the people who are just there to take advantage of the situation becoming representative of the other 95%? It purposefully obfuscates the purpose of the protests. If it wasnt 5% people would bitching about the 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%. People said the same thing about civil riots protests, that they were just violent thugs who want to burn down your cities.

ACatWithNews19 karma

This is sort of an answer to a few of the comments made on this thread. My personal philosophy with the work that I make myself: I.e. Instagram, Twitter, YT is to try and show the reasoning behind destruction of there is any. Traditional 9pm news outlets would probably agree with me here, in that there’s only so much run time.

I wish we lived in a world where the full story whatever that happens to be at a protest could be shown and there was more interest.

I think the percentage comparison is a good point in a lot of ways, in that is 95% were totally peaceful at an event it’s important to show 95% peace, but also have 5% be destruction.

TheYellowClaw10 karma

Like the reporter last year standing in front of an arson target burning merrily away, and reporting with a straight face the protests were "mostly peaceful".

ACatWithNews4 karma

I didn’t see this, but that reporter should probably answer for that!

ConspicuousUsername-11 karma

Do you know what the word, "mostly" means?

MuonManLaserJab11 karma

To be fair, by the literal definition of "mostly" you could say that the protest that culminated in the storming of the capital was also mostly peaceful.

ACatWithNews0 karma

I wasn’t at the Capitol so I can’t comment on the mood of the crowd, but I can say that personally I’d argue that with the evidence that’s currently being presented much of the crowd was not peaceful, in that they took part in the slayings of several with the express intention of replacing a legitimately elected leader with one who was not legitimately elected.

eqleriq5 karma

I’ll answer that working with multiple media outlets it SOMETIMES has nothing to do with what “any one individual captures” but whatever story someone’s looking to tell and assessing the media they have.

There is a massive misconception with what media bias is, especially on reddit, and it starts with the idea that the person capturing the imagery or footage or conducting an interview is the genesis of the editorialization.

Completely false, unless you are on assignment.

People have this romanticised idea that all journos are Hunter S. Thompson and pointing the camera wherever they want, therefore it’s all just choices by the gatherer.

If I’m on assignment it is very different than if I’m just going for coverage to hope something gets picked up.

If I shoot 5,000 photos at a protest where 95% is peaceful, 4% is violent and 1% is that magically all-encompassing art, it doesn’t matter when the editor just wants photos showing people’s improvised anti-crowd control tools. That’s what they’re going to select. (5k sounds like a lot but my 1dxm3 shoots 20fps and can realistically hit that in a few minutes)

Further if I’m actually working with someone to generate a full piece we’re only going to capture what we’re present at, and only going to be where the story requires. So that in and of itself is media bias: what you choose to cover is the first step.

ACatWithNews3 karma

Replying to boost this comment as it’s a very good one.

dog_in_the_vent-1 karma

There's no balance. His intent is to get the compelling photographs regardless of how factually representative they are.

ACatWithNews11 karma

I don’t take photos for the most part, I take video! My general rule of thumb is to get at least 2 speeches at an event, then walk around and grab b-roll. I’ve been working to post the full videos via YT lately in order to grab compelling thoughts from the protest itself!

Zoomer_Nationalist221 karma

You've pointed out in numerous social media posts that the police have brutalized or arrested "press" including yourself. It's clear that you and your colleagues are activists who are often involved with the protests themselves. Regardless of whether you think the police's treatment of protesters is justified, do you think it is fair to make this distinction, especially when these people claiming to be independent journalists are often marching with the protesters and confronting police officers?

You falsely reported a person's death last year. What evidence did you have that led you to believe the person had died? Do you think it hurts your journalistic integrity to make these claims without properly vetting them first?

What do you think is gained by doxxing police officers and counter protesters? Do you think this falls under journalism or activism?

ACatWithNews126 karma

Several questions here! All great ones, and to be honest I thought the tougher ones would come a bit later on.

Earlier in my work, I'd argue that those are concerns that would have been more applicable. I've toned down my work considerably, and am primarily silent during events as I agree that earlier work did confuse and/or muddy the waters a touch. As far as "confronting" police officers(which I no longer do outside of advocating for my own safety), while I myself do not do so I don't think that verbal statements should be held against someone ID'ing as press.

As far as the "Weezy" situation, that was absolutely a learning lesson for me. I had originally reported his death due to messages from his account, and a phone conversation from his mother. After there were some concerns brought up, I immediately went into investigative mode and was one of the people who was instrumental in locating him.

I am not personally a person who doxxes police officers or counter-protestors outside of ID'ing the last names of police officers, and have not personally doxxed any counter-protestors or protestors.

Zoomer_Nationalist82 karma

Thanks for answering.

I have noticed that you stay silent in most of your recent videos. In this video from August, you appear to be chastising the police at several points like at 8:30 and 29:00. Not judging the behavior but would you consider that something that you've decided not to do as it muddies the waters between journalism and protesting?

Also you mentioned in a video on how to film protests that you should not film the protesters but film the police, or something to that effect. Would you consider that biased, ie. trying to film examples of police brutality whilst excluding protest activity that people might disagree with, or that might be used (or taken out of context) to make the protesters look bad?

ACatWithNews46 karma

Sorry for late response. I sent the following message to them when we were down temporarily due to a verification issue:

I wouldn't necessarily argue that it muddies the waters between journalism and protesting as a journalist is anyone who is reporting what they see. I would argue that it shouldn't necessarily be done, and does make it more difficult to get a clear view of the situation through the affected parties' eyes.

I'd argue that if you are looking to film the police for the benefit of the people you are filming for you should absolutely put your lens on the police: the police are wearing body cams and as such are already filming the protestors. If your goal is to broadcast a report, I'd 100% argue that you should be aware of people's faces and cover those if they are not newsworthy (subpoenas are not fun), but absolutely cover the actions and goals of protestors/counter-protestors etc.

Sislar33 karma

TBH, now I'm older (50s) and very much on the left side of politics but hearing your responses I would never be interested in your journalism. And I think you are doing harm, you are giving the police the excuse to not take a press pass seriously. Not that they should be doing what they are doing to protesters but I can see why they are not making a distinction from protestor to press. I'll say this again YOU ARE DOING GREAT HARM. You need to have a involatile distinction between being a protestor and being a journalist. Choose one you dont get to go as a journalist and decide you need to add a little to protest, as soon as you do you are no longer the journalist just a blogging protestor.

ACatWithNews2 karma

Not a question but I will respond! A few things bear mentioning:

1) I only began wearing credentials fairly recently, after being arrested quite a few times.

2) This idea of “you are a protestor.” I am primarily silent in my work(early work is not the same and these criticisms I think are regarding the early work)

CSCasper30 karma

There is a strong perception these days that a large amount of journalism is to advance activism. In any direction, doesn't matter if it's MSNBC or Fox. That objective coverage is becoming less common and it is harder to trust journalists because of it.

Do you see journalism merging with political activism as a good thing, and the loss of either the perception of objectiveness or objectiveness itself to be an acceptable casualty if it means advancing one's political beliefs? Do you think the public is right or wrong to lose faith in journalism as a whole as this trend continues? You seem well placed for insights, as it appears you have an activist background and are providing content to news outlets.

I don't want to come off as attacking you. I'm a pretty middle of the road person, but it often seems the only decent middle of the road news service I can generally trust is Reuters. It is solely because they have a good track record and their coverage seems to be even handed. I have no way of knowing if any individuals in the news chain is influencing the content.

ACatWithNews11 karma

I’m also (generally) a fan of Reuters.

Earlier in my career, I feel I made some missteps with that and have changed the way that I do things in order to show a more balanced view of events. My role now is to show events with an empathetic view, rather than to forward a particular agenda(which is a fair criticism of my early work).

To be honest, I do feel like mainstream outlets are moving towards more slanted coverage: in my lifetime, I’ve noticed CNN become far more “liberal” in their coverage while FOX has become more “conservative,” and I think that goes to widening the ideological gap in the US.

I do also think that while there is a lot of “liberal” mainstream outlet reporting there’s very little leftist reporting.

COPDFF7 karma

The difference between you filming the police and the police's body cameras is their footage does not get released immediately or ever. It is for evidentiary purposes. You're trying to tell a story and you're only telling a small part of it intentionally.

ACatWithNews2 karma

I actually mentioned that if you’re journaling you should be covering the protestors as well.

If you’re “filming the police” in order to protect the arrestee during that confrontation then there’s rarely any need to film the person being protected.

It’s about context and role: if you are telling the story of the day then absolutely tell the story of the day. If your goal is to “protect people” then I’d just film the police.

revocer155 karma

How hard is it to give “fair” coverage to something you against?

ACatWithNews199 karma

That's a great question! That depends on why I'm against it. If it's a policy-forward event, i.e. the vast majority of protests throughout the country on either side it is a fairly easy thing to do: show up, set up my equipment, figure out what and where to be.

If it's an event that is against my personal beliefs for various reasons (i.e. violence against people walking by, violence that is above and beyond what's "deserved," intimidation, etc.) it becomes a bit more difficult but the last few months I've very much learned that at the end of the day the quieter I am, the more of the "truth" of the event is going to come out.

GingerSnac57 karma

How do you decide on what events to cover?

What upcoming project are you most excited to release?

Where can we find your work?

ACatWithNews51 karma

I'm blessed in some regards in that I don't currently work for any particular news agency or group, so I have a lot of lee-way in where I put myself and what I cover. I tend to be drawn most to events/rallies which say something about the general "feel" of the US/LA: BLM protests, Antifa marches, views of the unhoused, and even anti-mask rallies.

My goal is primarily to get an empathetic view on what's going on, regardless of if it is a group I personally agree with.

For LA events, I tend to use InThisTogether_LA which posts quite a few of the events going on in LA as well as monitoring Telegram/Signal/Citizen.

You can find my work on YT:



scolfin34 karma

There's been some criticism of media for giving outsized attention to relatively small and fringe protests, particularly anti-mask, that ordinarily wouldn't have merited coverage, inflating their perceived support, with a suspicion that it's largely to feed rubberneckers, a sort of ideological freak show. Have you tried to do anything to avoid giving more attention to smaller protests?

ACatWithNews10 karma

I’ve heard that criticism quite a bit. Though I disagree with their message pretty immensely, I think people have a right to know their message and their tactics. If for no other reason than TJ make educated and informed decisions about whether or not to be around them.

That being said, the anti-mask protests here in Los Angeles are generally less than 20 people and tend to be mostly the same 15 or so people.

scolfin4 karma

That being said, the anti-mask protests here in Los Angeles are generally less than 20 people and tend to be mostly the same 15 or so people.

Is that counting the journalists?

ACatWithNews3 karma

Sometimes, yes. 15-20 is the most I’ve seen in months.

revocer41 karma

How do you get paid?

ACatWithNews83 karma

Thanks for asking! I get paid several ways:

1) Through the use of selling footage to other networks.

2) Through a "donations from viewers like you" model- I list my CashApp/Venmo on my main social media handles. I'd consider this more of a "tips" than paid.

tjt5055120 karma

So Nightcrawler mixed with Onlyfans

EDIT: durr

ACatWithNews31 karma

That movie showed significantly less eating 7-11 hot dogs in the car than what actually happens.

SonofBenson39 karma

What groups (if any) have made you feel truly unsafe? Have any groups protected you during violent or dangerous moments?

ACatWithNews26 karma

I’ve had people on both sides help me out before. Black Bloc pulled me out of a pretty gnarly macing & beat down at a protest/counter-protest in Beverly Hills.

About a month later, several people surrounded me and threatened me (including Swiss Scarf Guy who was at the Capitol) but a few pro-MAGA folks convinced the small crowd forming around me to leave me alone.

ACatWithNews18 karma

I definitely have felt genuinely unsafe at several events but it’s pretty rare. The pro-Trump “Wild protest” January 6th in DTLA was one of those: several photogs were attacked, including a non-binary person who happens to be a friend. One woman was maced who stated she was just walking home.

wral3x27 karma

I have heard and seen some black people looting other black people's business, and burning a disabled white man who was homeless.

How true are those?

ACatWithNews37 karma

I'm sure that the first has happened, though I personally am not aware of that happening. Not because it hasn't but because I've never personally checked. I think it's important to understand with looting that there are about a *million* different things that could be going on.

  1. Protests and riots are extremely volatile, fast and unsure events. It's not really always known the owner of a business when looting happens
  2. Looting may or may not be being done by the crowd which is protesting. I've seen occasions where the crowd begins smashing things up and continues to march, then later a separate group began looting. I've also seen occasions where the crowd begins to loot.
  3. Looting is pretty rare. I've documented 200+ protests at least over the past year, and the amount of times looting happened was maybe...4?

As far as the burning of a white man who was *unhoused* I am just now becoming aware of it, so I can't really comment anything other than it appears as though a man was burnt in Rochester, NY.

dayinnight21 karma

Each political party likes to point fingers at the other side's protests as being violent, unruly, destructive etc. From your observations, did you notice if one side actually seemed more violent than the other?

ACatWithNews21 karma

I think it’s important to draw a distinction between BLM and Antifa.

BLM is both a group (BLM-LA here in LA) and a movement (a loose group of orgs and people with similar beliefs). Antifa is an even looser group which certainly agrees with BLM the movement on a lot of issues. They are not the same thing, and in fact there is occasionally friction.

Towards myself, definitely violence from the Right. As far as property destruction, definitely on the left. As far as physical violence, probably the Right.

0xB0BAFE7721 karma

From your personal experiences, how often did you see the bear attack unprovoked and how often did you see the bear attack after being poked first?

ACatWithNews6 karma

Depends on the bear! Which bear do you mean? LAPD? Some dude on the street? Protestors?

ACatWithNews20 karma

Here's a link to my face and twitter account!

Big-Mac-Megatron15 karma

Being among people with such extreme viewpoints on both sides of the political spectrum, do you think that extreme ideals are only held by a small number of outspoken individuals, and the rest of the crowd of people simply follow? Or, are there really that many people today that have more extreme beliefs on both sides?

EDIT: Here is what I find fascinating about the responses to this question: We have a guy in this AMA thread with unique experiences that none of us have, and you guys would rather argue about political issues instead of finding out about the real people behind them. You can do that anywhere else.

Here is why the original question is important:

There are big steps between posting a meme online, to going to a rally, to acting with violence.

Would any person who posts anti-mask memes actually attack someone for wearing a mask? Obviously a select few have. But are we really in that much danger, or is the person who posts the anti-mask meme on FB just kind of going along with what their associates think? Is it all talk? Or should we expect action to follow? These are important questions that are much more important than what your personal political beliefs are.

ACatWithNews3 karma

I’m not sure of the numbers among all people, but I can say in any crowd you’re going to have different levels of intensity! I think that this country needs to have a pretty serious conversation about what “extreme” means on sides of the political spectrum. That being said, I think that the last year did several things: many people were radicalized due to the pandemic, lockdowns, death of George Floyd and the police response to the George Floyd protests and those sentiments and actions continue to this day.

As far as numbers of a crowd who are the most intense, that varies from crowd to crowd and it’s hard to say how many are “down,” whatever “down,” happens to mean that day.

I’d argue that radicalization isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you agree with what the radicalization is. That being said, social media tends to be the “gateway” towards people radicalizing. We’ve seen it definitely amp up, and depending on the belief you can see people begin to sort of “mesh” their original beliefs with groups they see online.

That’s one of the reasons I track a few social media accounts which are slowly growing, as I think it’s super interesting to watch them grow and gain followers.

Stiralbios13 karma

What are the most common personnality traits of protesters ?

What is different and common, personnality wise, between "right wing" and "left wing" protesters ?

ACatWithNews13 karma

Common- Feeling of disenfranchisement, passion, suspicion of government figures.

Differences- The left has more empathy (at least in language and rhetoric) for the unhoused/LGBTQIA+/BIPOC culture. Definitely tend to get their news from social media and alt news sites. The right tends to be more anti-“cancel culture,” more conservative in their views on minority culture and “pro-America” in their viewpoints on culture. They tend to get their news more commonly from FOX and Newsmax.

ACatWithNews11 karma

Hi everyone! Sorry for the delay. We're back live!

jsmnr11 karma

How do you become a journalists? Any special requirements or degrees ? 🥺

ACatWithNews11 karma

I'm a big proponent of anyone who is journalling being a journalist. I do not have a degree in journalism (though I've taken it upon myself to gain some great mentors as of late after some missteps), but I have worked and educated myself on film/TV production which has assisted me in editing and producing larger videos.

jsmnr5 karma

Oh I see! Do you work for a specific company or no? Because I’m very interested in becoming a journalist. What do you think are the basics and things you should know about journalism?

ACatWithNews13 karma

I'm independent, and earn my money through two routes:

Being a "stringer," which essentially means that I attempt to sell footage I've filmed to any and all available outlets

Independent donations through Venmo/CashApp - I'm not sure what the rules are in this sub so I'll not post those links for now.

kawklee1 karma

How often, when your videos are sold, do you see them get used? What kind of licensing is being used for their purchase? Does the footage get sold with exclusivity, or general use like for various AP publishers?

ACatWithNews2 karma

I try very hard not to sell exclusive footage, as I’d rather my work be spread in as large a pond as possible. Generally, I sell “non-exclusive” rights to individual outlets.

trocky5129 karma

Have you ever attended an event/protest where you went in with one belief and coming out with another? Or have the actions of the protesters ever changed your mind

ACatWithNews7 karma

Several! Lots of opinion in this post. The first two that came to mind:

A “block the sweep” event which was held to block a CARE+ (the TL;dr on CARE+ is that they are the city workers who operate cleaning operations in unhoused encampment areas) I went in thinking I was 100% against their operations and that the sweep should be blocked. I still 100% think that the way that sweeps are done these days is not in the unhoused interest, but I think it’s more complicated than “no sweeps.” These folks need tools to succeed so that they can keep their own areas clean: almost every single unhoused person I’ve interviewed has stated they’d like garbage bags when I ask them what would help them live their life. I’m still against destroying their property but acknowledge that city assistance is necessary to serve them in some ways.

The other event that comes to mind was a counter-protest which was done in the Skid Row area to block a religious group which was refusing to wear masks and doing some mission work. I went in thinking that they were going to be aggressive and conservative but after seeing them in action I sort of felt bad for them. They were here in this hostile area, and really had no idea what was going on in the Skid Row area. When I asked them if they asked the residents what their needs were, they looked at me like I’d said something in a foreign language.

ACatWithNews9 karma

Hi all! I went to bed with all questions answered and woke up with about 200 more comments! Working on answering all of them now!

man_corrupted7 karma

Hey, other side of the world here.

In the time that you have spent watching, recording, how has what you have seen, shaped your view of America? How big is the race divide? Is immigration a problem for America, or just a headline? What are the real effects of it? What are your personal views on gun control?

Thanks in advance.

ACatWithNews-2 karma

Oh wow, so many questions here. All of them are pretty deep! I think the big thing I’ve learned about America while filming America is that this is a country with very wide gaps, and they are informed by class/economic distinction but not necessarily always from that. There are very real levels of mistrust, and I used to view them from an economic and racial lens but they appear to be cultural as well.

Immigration, to me (and this is opinion) is not a “problem” in the US, but actually might be the strongest aspect of our country. People tend to view immigration from the lens of what’s good for the nation; I just can’t bring myself to do that. I view it as humanitarian: what’s the best thing we can do as a world for the greater good? It to me appears as we could easily be utilizing Human Resources much better, and particularly do so in the Ag industry where migrant workers are making well below minimum wage much of the time.

I think the race divide in the country between Black/White is huge. I’ve travelled to many other countries and I can say thar in the US it informs every piece of culture; economic, music, social.

My personal views on gun control are this: I don’t think anyone should be able to hide a gun. Ever. I’m very anti-concealed carry. I’m also very pro-safe gun use.

Icyinfernal5 karma

What projects are you currently working on?

ACatWithNews7 karma

Currently, I've been working on a few things, as well as keeping my eyes on a few developing projects.

I've been doing quite a bit of coverage of the unhoused in Los Angeles; I firmly believe their voices are not in the forefront of the conversation in Los Angeles. I've been covering/filming "sweeps" where the unhoused are told to move their things while the area is "cleaned," though a lot of activists/people feel as though they are displacing the unhoused and destroying their possessions. Here's the most recent one, where they destroyed all of the shelters and tents in the area:

I've also been interviewing unhoused members of the community. I just put up Part 4 of an ongoing series:

Additionally, there's been a lot of discussion about the unhoused community in Echo Park: there are rumors (currently nothing tangible) that they will be evicted from the park very soon. I'm also itching to get up to Santa Barbara County where the Chumash people are concerned about mismanagement of the Oceano Dunes.

boatyboatwright3 karma

What do you think about the current Echo Park Lake situation?

ACatWithNews4 karma

I think that whatever happens, it’s going to end up happening soon. Whatever your feelings on the unhoused in Los Angeles, I think that any movement to evict people from the area is going to break a lot of hearts, and I think that it would be nice if we got to a point where people didn’t feel like they had to live within the park.

revocer4 karma

What’s the secret to telling a compelling story?

ACatWithNews17 karma

Honestly? Being in the right place and at the right time.

I'm a very firm proponent of always using empathy in all subjects when possible. If someone isn't asking the "Why?" then a story just isn't complete. The compelling story isn't really mine to tell, I view myself more as a videographer of the subject's story.

Does that make sense? This feels like a very pretentious answer.

Ferfuxache4 karma

What is antifa? Are they an actual group or are they just who shows up to protest authoritarian fascist groups? In what other groups do the participants overlap? Thanks for your time.

ACatWithNews9 karma

First and foremost, I think one of the biggest misconceptions of Antifa is that they are a traditionally organized group that operates nationwide. There are no Soros-funded credit cards, half of Black Bloc doesn’t even know the names of anyone behind their friends which arrive at Antifa protests.

They’re a very loose group of folks who have a (sometimes even this varies) belief that fascism in this country is growing and should be countered. I’ve seen shouts of “oo-rah, Antifa!” at events as varied as straight up white nationalist get togethers to events that claim they are peaceful “patriot” rallies.

There’s certainly some overlap between leftist protests in LA/SoCal people and Antifa events but it bears mentioning that not everyone who will participate in BLM events will participate in an Antifa event.

conspirateur4 karma

Hey man, respect! This takes balls.

A tech question if I may (from a camera op for totally different types of work) - what's your main kit? Intrigued to know your approach to camera in such a volatile environment...

ACatWithNews5 karma

My kit changes from event to event based on the needs of the event! But for protests my standard kit is:

iPhone X MAX Blue tripod(I like the color of blue and after being shot at a bunch of times I’ve decided to make all my equipment as colorful as possible in the hopes there are no mistakes about my role) Handheld rig & stabilizer with cold shoes on top MOVO shotgun microphone LED lights with cold shoes on bottom Portable battery source Portable phone chargers Gas mask Kevlar sleeves Ballistic goggles Bicycle helmet Drone Granola Bars Change of clothes(in case of chemical munitions/bear macings) Saline drops

If that q gets enough likes I’ll post links to each individual item.

SirBobyBob4 karma

Do you feel that around the world, people like you who don’t want to spread drama and take a neutral stance feel at risk? I’ve heard of stories of whistleblowers practically being harassed a lot for trying to reveal the truth, do you get harassed for trying to cover stories from all angles instead of looking at stuff from a big media view. Sorry if my question sounds confusing.

ACatWithNews34 karma

Hi! I don't know if you'd call what I do taking a neutral stance, but as far as cataloging what happens throughout the night I think it's important to do so and I've been really focusing my coverage on doing that.

I'll say that harassment often happens to reporters regardless of their angle and their beliefs. A thing that should be talked about a great deal more in the US is how often female journalists are sexually harassed while doing their job.

ACatWithNews3 karma

Hello everyone! LAPD is reporting another “officer involved shooting” - the 6th this week. I’ll be taking a break from answering questions in order to follow up on it.

Icyinfernal3 karma

When covering anti maskers what precautions do you have in place to prevent the accidental spread of COVID to other events you are covering?

ACatWithNews31 karma

1) I keep my distance at anti-mask rallies to six feet. This is more of a theoretical as at those rallies I am usually approached.

2) KN95 mask. Since Los Angeles had its major outbreak several months ago, I always wear one(and usually KN95 at non-anti mask events as well). I’ve always worn one outside of one moment where a group of about 10 people circled me and demanded I take the mask off; the calculus there led me to believe that the crowd was getting fairly antagonistic and had to take it off for my own safety.

3) Regular testing. I tested positive for antibodies several months ago but have never tested positive for COVID-19. That being said, it’s my understanding personal antibodies don’t necessarily prevent transmission.

4) I keep a fairly large supply of hand sanitizer in my car as well as backpack and am very generous with it.

darkiefan1233 karma

Do you think some of the violence we see at these protest could be influenced on purpose by the government sort of like cointelpro?

ACatWithNews5 karma

I have personally not seen any evidence of that over the past years.

rex10302 karma

How much money do you typically get for footage as a stringer?

ACatWithNews3 karma

Depends on the footage! I try to never sell any footage exclusively as it blocks the word going out on whatever it is I filmed.

Depending on the footage, I’ve received as little as $50 (several days after and wasn’t particularly newsworthy anymore) and as much as $400 for video.

NorthCentralPositron2 karma

What are your thoughts on YouTube removing unedited video of things like Trump rallies by fellow documenters/journalists?

ACatWithNews6 karma

I myself have had items removed by IG/YT which were documenting events like that.

I wish these outlets had a better way of filtering untruthful disinformation re: COVID, as many folks’ documentation of these events are taken down.

prss795132 karma

It sounds like you do exactly what I want to do for a living, any advice when first getting started in this kind of growing? Recommendations for reaching out to networks?

ACatWithNews4 karma

Honestly? Go to school. Learn things the easy way. If I could do everything all over again there’s a lot of lessons I would have much rather learned from a professor than in the field.

flyingwithclecos1 karma

If you had ‘24 hours’ to do anything, what would you do?

ACatWithNews2 karma

Sleep. Eat like 100 oysters. Drink 5 glasses of champagne. Stay in my pajamas.

Read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run.

VanFam1 karma

I saw the interview with Mr. Beasley. It hurt. It cut. How is he today?

ACatWithNews3 karma

I haven’t seen him in a few weeks. It’s clear their friendship was very close, and he is a tough dude but I can tell thar he very much misses his friend. I should see him again soon!

Rossum810 karma

What's your opinion of Andy Ngo?

ACatWithNews7 karma

That he needs to cite other journalists for their work. I haven’t gotten around to reading his book, but I plan to soon.

amypalgreen87-1 karma

Whose group is the worst what you experience so far?

ACatWithNews15 karma

I don't know what you mean by "the worst," - could you elaborate so I can answer better?

amypalgreen87-3 karma

Like trump supporters BLM etc when you attend the rallies/protest

ACatWithNews30 karma

Well, I suppose I'll say that is a complicated question. I don't necessarily want to say one side is "the worst," as I don't want people to get the wrong impression about my work. But I think I can answer that question if I narrow it down a touch!

As far as violence from the people involved in the event, I can say that I've only *personally* experienced it at Trump rallies and it's only been extreme one time. Sam braslow's video here: (I'm the guy with the helmet)

As far as violence from the police goes, I can definitely say that the most concerning things that have happened tend to be pro-BLM days and particularly when people are dressed in "Black Bloc"

biloutte-8 karma

I am very much afraid for the future of the freedom of press in the USA. It feels like the grip around journalism is tightening bit by bit, either by police interventions, or through the potential rise of a new and more efficient populist a la trump. Are you optimist or more pessimistic in regards to press freedom?

ACatWithNews30 karma

That's a great question! In regards to press freedom, I can't help but be concerned for how many arrests and detainments have been going on in the US.

Lexis Olivier-Ray, a very talented journalist for LA Taco is currently facing charges for refusal to disperse despite being the *only* person who is still facing charges. His video of being batonned and having his camera damaged went viral so it's hard not to wonder how it is that he's the only human that they felt was worth charging at the LA Dodgers win celebration several months ago.

I had charges which were outstanding up until several days ago, and it's hard not to think that all of these arrests could have chilling effects down the road.