Listening Post - The Occupy Wall Street media blackout
The Listening Post

‘Occupy Wall Street’: A media blackout?

Protesters take on Wall Street and battle to get themselves heard in the mainstream media.

Has the spirit of the Arab Spring come to Wall Street, or are the protesters just anarchists looking for trouble?

It started in Lower Manhattan. A handful of protesters descended on Wall Street calling themselves representatives of ‘the 99 per cent’ – the majority of Americans who feel unfairly treated by an economic system in which wealth accrues to the already rich.

Despite an initial lack of coverage, the protests spread country-wide and the crowds grew. The coverage however was disappointing. Protesters accused media outlets of marginalising the demonstrations and not representing public interest. They pointed to the deep connections between the corporate system the demonstrations aimed to change and the mainstream media. Our News Divide this week: the protesters on Wall Street and the challenge of having their story told.

In our News Bytes this week: The family of jailed Egyptian blogger, Maikel Nabil say that the postponement of his appeal hearing could amount to a death sentence; the two-year suspended prison sentence of a Peruvian journalist highlights the uneasy relationship between the leftist government and right-wing media in the country; the Twitter account of Thailand’s new prime minister was hacked and used to post anti-government messages; and a number of British media outlets misreport the verdict in US student Amanda Knox’s murder trial.

Political satire has been around for a long time. Delivering the news with an element of humour and dose of opinion has always gone down well with audiences but not that well with politicians. In the 1980’s a TV series called Spitting Image took the medium to new heights. It used latex puppets to satirise world leaders and current affairs and at the height of its popularity, was being watched by around 12 million viewers on a weekly basis. Like any popular TV show, it was not long before spin-offs started popping up around the world. But as the producers of these shows soon learned, getting a political puppet show on the air and keeping it there is not easy.   

For most of us, extreme sports will only ever be enjoyed from the sidelines and stadiums. But thanks to new technology we can get a little closer these days. The Go Pro video camera is a tiny device that is able to produce incredible footage. Due to its small size it can be used in all kinds of ways and at 2011 X Games, the action sports festival held in Los Angeles, that was put to the test. Our internet video of the week takes you safely to the centre of the extreme sport action. 


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