With the protests surging and an estimated 10,000 people gathering in New York City last weekend and thousands more in cities around the world, commentators and reporters continue to delegitimize the movement. For example, Sunday’s Washington Post buried the story about the mass protests in a one-column-inch slot in the right-hand corner of the front page. The story continued on page A20, complete with a leading image of a protester torching a car — rather than one of the thousands of images of peaceful demonstrations that took place all over the globe.
Giving the Whole Picture
“If Occupy Wall Street has done nothing else, it’s allowed us to see how lazy and inept our media is,” Kilkenny said.
It’s also allowed us to see who is doing the best reporting. Public media reporters like Farley, independent journalists like Kilkenny and local citizen journalism projects like The Uptake have been stepping in and filling the void, providing a voice for the folks on the streets. Rather than simply sending a reporter to Zuccotti Park for a few short interviews and base descriptions, these reporters and outlets are spending hours among the protesters to learn who they really are, and what they’re really demanding. Take Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, which broadcast its entire show from New York City last Tuesday.
Instead of whitewashing the protests under a neatly spun narrative, many of these outlets are doing the legwork to help the public understand our financial system and how this movement has sprung up. Participants in Zuccotti Park have set up an independent media center to amplify their voices to the world. And social media is helping people share and view images, video and testimony that aren’t available on mainstream media. Free from corporate control, these outlets are reporting on this movement without anyone pulling the strings — or moving the mouths — behind the curtains.
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