Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wall Street Protests : Shameful Media Blackout or Journalistic Laziness?

Unlike europe, the United states does not have a tradition of organizing huge protests on a regular basis. And you haven't seen many big Americans protests probably since the 60s.

But this economic crisis has taken its toll, and seems to push people into acting and expressing their anger at corporate creed through street demonstrations. There have been protests all over the main cities - in Boston,  San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and of course, New York City.

Despite weeks of protests, the protests did not make the headlines of the main-stream media (FAIR has a good report on this) - not even NPR. Only now, into the 3rd week of 'The Occupy Wall Street' protests, and after 700 people were arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn bridge (USA Today, NYTimes), has the news made the headlines.
As Keith Olberman (of whom I'm not always a fan) noticed, it is remarkable that a few dozen Tea Party protesters get the full attention of the media, and not the hundreds of demonstrations of regular people all over the country. And the hypocrisy of some journalists who claim that "the numbers are not big enough" is preposterous. Here's an example from the Boston Globe :
It's hard to take a protest fully seriously when it looks more like a circus - some participants seem to have taken a chute straight from Burning Man - and when it's organized by a Canadian magazine and a computer-hacking group. (Also, organizers first declared that they would draw 20,000 protesters, but only 1,000 showed up. That's not a media conspiracy. It's math.)
(Source: Atlantic Wire).
And it is even harder to find information on the police brutality in the US media
Numerous incidents of police roughing up protesters were caught on film including one senior officer spraying mace at several female demonstrators being kept behind a police barrier.
Video of that attack went viral on the internet prompted mainstream media – which had mostly ignored the protests – to give them sympathetic attention. Computer hackers also released the name and address of the officer caught on film. Since then the occupation has garnered many new supporters and global press attention. (The Guardian)
It gets scary when the Chinese tell the world that 'the US Media Balckout is shameful'. Oh the irony.

So is this because most main stream media are owned by big corporations or is it just laziness?

Oh well, at least we have Jon Stewart to cover the news :

1 comment:

ForeignAwareness said...

Actually the NYT covered the wall street protests in the first week that there were more than 100 people, with a front page article on the 25th of september.