- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Al Jazeera contributor announced Thursday that he’s leaving Ferguson, Missouri, blasting journalists on the ground for “appalling” behavior in their coverage of the unrest that has plagued the St. Louis suburb.

“The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle,” Ryan Schuessler wrote on his personal website, The Daily Caller first reported. “There are now hundreds of journalists from all over the world coming to Ferguson to film what has become a spectacle. I get the sense that many feel this is their career-maker.”

Mr. Schuessler, who studied journalism and political science at the University of Missouri, provides a list of several examples of what he considered to be appalling behavior by the media in Ferguson.

“Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras,” he wrote. “TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned.”

Mr. Schuessler lamented journalists who make the story about themselves and mentioned one reporter who came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.”

“He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper,” he wrote.

“In the beginning there was a recognizable need for media presence, but this is the other extreme,” Mr. Schuessler concluded. “They need time to work through this as a community, without the cameras. We should all be ashamed, and I cannot do it anymore. I am thankful for my gracious editors who understand that.”

His comments echo similar statements made by conservative writers who have accused reporters of injecting themselves into their coverage.

Hot Air’s Noah Rothman argued Tuesday that “the media appears to believe that it is an active participant in the events in Missouri. What’s more, the press appears to be relishing this role.”

The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis agreed: “[I]f you were an overly ambitious, and perhaps quixotic, young reporter or blogger, wouldn’t it make sense to intentionally become part of this sort of story — especially if you thought the risk-reward ratio was favorable. Yes, it would.”