Looking back at MOVE

August 4, 2009

linn w

Linn Washington, professor of journalism

“It’s like being in a time machine,” Linn Washington said recently about the work he’s doing this summer for a manuscript due to Temple University Press in October. Washington and Karen Turner, both journalism professors at the School of Communications and Theater, are writing and editing a book on the 1985 MOVE bombing using a unique perspective: first person accounts from journalists of color who covered the events.

The seven journalists include a Channel 10 videographer who caught the conflict’s first bomb on tape; Tyree Johnson, at the time a reporter and now the publisher of Westside Weekly who happened to live less than a block away from the MOVE compound; Maida Odom, then a reporter at the Inquirer and now a journalism faculty member at Temple; and Kamika Williams, then a reporter at the Philadelphia Tribune.

Washington, who has been covering MOVE since 1975 and was a fellow at Yale’s journalism law program, will be contributing legal analysis to the as-yet-unnamed book.

“Some things slipped by journalists covering MOVE because they didn’t understand the law,” said Washington, “MOVE members have been subjected to a different standard of justice, while no city officials have ever been put on trial.”

Eryn Jelesiewicz

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