Rage Against the Media

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 3 Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone 7
Photo courtesy of CreativeCommons.org

On September 17th, all was normal with Twitter. However, if you chose to glance down at trending topics, there were a couple of interesting choices:
#occupywallstreet
#sept17
#USdayofrage

If you were intrigued enough to click on one of these hashtags, the content might have surprised you. For it appeared our nation was in the middle of a giant, unexpected economic protest on Wall Street. The hacktivist group Anonymous used some of its many Twitter accounts to help organize the event, and stood among the crowd during peaceful demonstrations against 'coporate pigs' and the American government.

If you were watching the mainstream American news, you never would have heard any of it. As the day went on, Twitter users began complaining of a major media blackout against what they claimed civilians would deem to be news. And it seems to be true: the first major media company to release an article over the event was Al Jeezera English, a foreign media outlet (read the article here). In fact, while Al Jeezera released their article the same day as the popular revolution begun, it took American outlets at least a full day before they began to release any kind of coverage (see Business Week's coverage here). It was too long for the protesters, one of whom tweeted "This whole lack of news coverage thing for #occupywallstreet is kind of disturbing. Yet the asinine Glen Beck rally got all that press?"

Why did it take the American media so long to respond to a major protest on one of our country's most famous streets? For weeks, journalists have been covering foreign protests with a lot of effort and no small amount of dedication, yet the biggest news of Saturday was left to the foreign media and protesters to break themselves. There is speculation that major media corporations dragged their feet on purpose to cover it, because after all- the public was protesting specifically against corporations. Were the major news networks purposefully avoiding the subject to save their own dignity?

If journalists are going to continue referring to themselves as our nation's 'watchdog', then they need to be watching their own business moves. When you are a journalist, you don't do what's best for the corporation. You're doing what's best for your nation's civilians, and sometimes, you need to swallow your pride.

3 comments:

Lance Kramer September 21, 2011 at 8:21 AM  

I too saw this on twitter and was looking around in the media for the news about it. I could not find it only in other countries. I believe this is news because protesting against Wall Street is a big deal. The big news corporation blocked this out, in my opinion, did not want others to see that we could protest Wall Street and also because they did not want more people coming to the protest rally. Wall Street has all the news corporations stocks and money invested way would they want to show that people are going against that.

kelleygray September 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM  

I totally agree that journalists should cover ALL news, even if it is negative towards their busines. I would have known nothing about this if I hadn't had heard you bring it up during class,and it is a major event that should have been covered greatly. It is disappointing to see that the media is "picking and choosing" what to cover and what not to cover based on their own interests.

Political Psychic September 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM  

You summed it beautifully in the end. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

"If journalists are going to continue referring to themselves as our nation's 'watchdog', then they need to be watching their own business moves. When you are a journalist, you don't do what's best for the corporation. You're doing what's best for your nation's civilians, and sometimes, you need to swallow your pride."

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