Media Coverage: #occupywallstreet

Posted on November 10, 2011 by


Occupy Wall Street: an American movement to change the 1% that control 99% of the money. A movement that started with the Arab Spring, with the same issues in Libya, Egypt, in a different protests are now affecting Greece and America.  In the past year, many countries all over the world have started social movements against the wealthy minority in each individual country.  It’s revolution time in many countries, but where is the media coverage?

In an article by the The Nation of Change, the coverage (or lack of) discusses the reasons the American public does not see more coverage of this social movement.  Both positive and negative issues are discussed; such as: censorship, gatekeepers, and the lack of media in turns shows the effect of a social movement.  It summarizes that the very enemy of a social movement; is the media. The author also states that this media blackout is intentional among the organizers of the Occupy Wall Street.  It even points out that  the black-out is intentional by definition of a social movement. But even despite critics’ remarks about the lack of media,  this social movement has been getting more coverage than any recent protests in recent years.          

  Mainstream media are usually a part of a movement’s opponent, and they certainly are in this case… Part of the blame for poor coverage, too, lies in the movement’s own media strategy, or lack thereof. From the outset, its organizers have focused primarily on creating   their own media—just as Gandhi did during the Indian liberation struggle, and as so many other movements have since. The occupiers do this very well, with a (theoretically) 24-hour livestream, a newspaper, websites, and more. Meanwhile, many organizers have purposely avoided contact with mainstream media outlets, and no plan was in place at first for how to deal with them should they arrive.

This article is one of the best that I have read that cover both sides of the issue of Occupy Wall Street (even though there can be no true sense of unbiased opinion).  The fact that the author is willing to brutally  state that because the social movement is an obvious resistance, society is in outrage over a natural sequence of events.  The media (no matter what side) is control by politicians.  Within media also relies social networking sites like “Twitter” and its great that an author is bringing this to society’s attention.

My opinion lies with the author of the this article, give or take a few changes.  In discussing the matter of media, gatekeepers need to be addressed.  As a Mass Communication major, gatekeepers are frequently dealt with.  Gatekeepers can be thought of the managers of information; omniscient if you will.  They are given the information, then they decide what to filter down the the network affiliates.  Thus what society receives as information is not the entirety of a story, or if we even get to hear the story.

I also enjoy the fact that this article deals with the intentional black-out of the Occupy Wall Street organizers.  Society is in outrage of a natural occurrence of social movements.  Occupy Wall Street is a revolution in American society, and that is a statement not to be taken lightly.  Revolutions are a big thing, a struggle, a movement that takes time to develop.  But as typical Americans, society wants it all at once with immediate satisfaction. Be patient America, Occupy Wall Street has broken ground, we just have to see what the foundations look like.