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Monday, February 24, 1997

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  • Mumia Abu-Jamal Radio Essays

    Index on Censorship. Noelle Hanrahan discusses the process of recording the voices of inmates and the banning of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s radio essays on public radio All Things Considered. Abu-Jamal is incarcerated in Huntington on death row, convicted of killing Daniel Faullkner, a police officer. Hanrahan was banned for a year after crediting a photo she took of the prison facility. To continue the recordings, she asked the UK magazine, Index on Censorship, to assign the story to her, because the prison facility allowed foreign requests for access to prisoners. Hanrahan hired Janice Leber, an engineer from KPFA, and Nolen Edmonston, a photographer, who were sent in to continue the recordings. After the trauma of strip searches, they were finally allowed to continue recording Abu-Jamal on condition that a prison administrator was present. Abu-Jamal was a broadcast journalist and recorded over 400 commentaries, mentioning his case only twice. One of the reasons NPR rejected his commentaries was because he may mention his case.

  • Speech by Steve Weiser of the Bruderhof Community

    The Bruderhof Community recently published Abu-Jamals writings in a book called Death Blossoms. Steve Weiser gave a speech at a news conferences held by Pacifica announcing their airing of Abu-Jamals commentaries. He reports on his personal observations after just visiting Abu-Jamal. Steve believes that Mumia is being harassed by prison officials in preparation for a possible ruling.

  • Censoring Journalists and Prisoners

    Kyle Niederpruem, Vice President of the National Freedom of Information Committee and a reporter at the Indianapolis National Star and News. She gives an overview on journalist access to prisoners. She believes the public have the right to hear the voices from these prisons. While on air Democracy Now was dropped from Pennsylvania Temple University public radio WRTI because of Pacifica’s decision to air Abu-Jamals commentaries. The Fraternal Order of Police in Pennsylvania, a national organization, are believed to be pressuring the university. Niederpruem believes this is another example of continued censorship of prisoners and the pressure media organizations are experiencing. Niederpruem argues that privatization of prisons are leading to a crackdown on public access to prisoners.