The first is entitled So you got arrested in Ferguson, now what? The article focuses on the arrest of Matthew Giles, a grad student at NYU. He was in Ferguson researching the differences between national news coverage and the experiences of the people being covered. He had been issued press credentials by NYU, and they had been approved by the police press liason in Ferguson. Consequently he was clearly a member of the press, certified by both his organization, NYU, and the Ferguson police.
You should read the article. It describes the circumstances of the arrest and his experience afterwards, and gives a list of recommendations for reporters who find themselves in a similar situation.
The second article contains a list of the reporters who were arrested covering the Ferguson story.
I'm aware that reporters are sometimes the Rodney Dangerfield of American culture, who often "don't get no respect". People on the political right wing, in particular, often accuse the media of "liberal bias". But the press comes under attack from every side of the political spectrum, depending on the details of story they are covering.
Some criticisms of the press are justified. The media often chases the garish headline rather than give adequate attention to the information people need to know. Stories about Amber Rose or Donald Trump are obviously entertaining to a broad section of the public, but have little impact on our lives as individuals, or as a nation.
Ferguson, on the other hand, was a story worth covering. Although some people believe that the issue of strained race relations in the United States has been solved, events like Ferguson indicate that in many ways, we are living in multiple countries, rather than in one unified nation.
Pew research does excellent polling of the attitudes of the American public on various issues. A recent survey on the public's reaction to the Ferguson shooting found that whites and African-Americans had starkly different views on the subject. 80% of African-Americans accept the statement "This case raises important issues about race that need to be discussed." Only 37% of whites answered yes to the same question. Another Pew survey went into greater detail on perceptions of equality of treatment by the police, and reveals a similar divide in the public's perception.
It is the job of the press to uncover the information the public needs to understand events which affect their lives. As the percentage of whites within the population declines, and the percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics increases, it is particularly important that the press be able to present a clear and accurate view of the state of race relations in the United States. Ferguson provided a window into those relations, and the press needed to have access to the community. The police should only have interfered with the press if the press were actively and obviously impeding the ability of the police to maintain order. In the case of Ferguson, until the arrival of the state police, the police were creating more disorder than they were preventing.
Law enforcement in Ferguson badly botched many aspects of the crisis in that town. The harassment of the press was just one in a long list of inept over-reactions. But a free press is necessary to both democracy and our ability to solve problems as a nation. The press needs to fight back against abuses by officials through its own organizations. and through civil liberties groups, and the police departments need to better train and educate their officers in the rights of the press and the public. Most importrantly, the public needs to understand why a free press is necessary for their active participation in a democratic society.