Independent Media

The Importance of Independent Media

Mainstream media tends to shy away from the stories affecting communities of color.  Many accomplishments, celebrations, victories and cultural representations are ignored.  And the overwhelming trauma inflicted upon BIPOC communities is certainly not portrayed fairly.

On October 14, 2022 Mayor Jacob Frey made a proclamation in City Hall (an event in which members of the George Floyd family flew in from out of state) that it was George Floyd Day.  Listen Media was the ONLY media outlet there.  In 2020 every journalist in the world wanted to be in Minneapolis to cover this story.  Yet, it seems no one was even informed of this proclamation...  But KingDemetrius was there!

When Brooklyn Center police pursued a suspect in a high speed chase through a residential neighborhood resulting in the death of six year old Blessings McLaurin-Grey in July of 2022, no other journalist in the entire Twin Cities area attended her wake other than KingDemetrius Pendleton.

Since the year 2000 there have been 500 individuals wrongly killed by law enforcement in Minnesota.  KingDemetrius was the first journalist on scene after the killings of Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Justine Damond, George Floyd, and Daunte Wright.  He has been teargassed, threatened with arrest (even with his press credentials clearly displayed), hurdled by police at protests, and targeted by right-wing organizations that threatened by both himself and his children.

Yet, no matter how gut-wrenching or traumatic, KingDemetrius feels compelled to expose the truth and capture for history what many others do not. 

He stands in solidarity with the families of stolen lives. 

He is dedicated to uplifting the voices of those staunchly committed to fighting for racial, social and economic equality. 

Photojournalism is his way to participate in that struggle, naturally capturing people in the moment.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit following the arrests of several reporters covering the protests in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd.  I, too, was out there as police used rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas against us journalists, despite clearly identifying ourselves as press.  Yet no one invited the independent media that was here from beginning to end to be part of that lawsuit. 

They reached out to The Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, Fox News, CNN...  Myself and other dedicated local independent journalists were not included.  We do not receive financial assistance unless we do fundraisers, apply for grants, or sell a few photos.  Yet our coverage is more in-depth and unfiltered.  Independent media is essential to give power to people to speak freely, completely and wholeheartedly. 

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