I haven’t known what to make of #OWS. It’s incredibly exciting to see solidarity emerge across social boundaries. It’s inspiring to see activists come together to dialogue across issues and agendas. Do I agree with the movement? What do I choose to occupy? Is this really going to effect change? Are they all lefties? What’s their message?
Then in dawned on me that I can’t judge the occupation by outdated standards. Success? Effectiveness? Partisan lines? Who are we kidding. This is a FANTASTIC moment because it is finally stirring so much more empowered dialogue than our world has seen in a long time. On that note, media coverage has been confusing. So here’s what I’m reading (just a bit of it). I hope it helps point to some sources ya’ll could frequent and enrich the dialogue! (This is by no means comprehensive, just some of my bookmarks!)
Media Matters compiled this Guide to the Smear Campaign Against Occupy Wall Street. It’s an interesting project and will probably make you angry. I don’t usually like to harp on Fox, or anyone specifically for that matter, but today on the train to work I saw a Fox News ad in which they tout themselves as the most “powerful name in news,” and I’m angry. Journalism is not supposed to be a means to power. Ever.
Erika Fry at Columbia Journalism Review explores the NYPD press credential process. Who’s a real journalist (real enough to not get arrested) in this everyone-is-a-journalist age?
The optics of the bonuses are far worse than the practical impact. Newspapers are asking their employees for shared sacrifice and their digital readers to begin paying. So, lucrative packages won’t cut it. As newspapers all over the country struggle to divine the meaning of the Occupy protests, some of the companies that own them might want to listen closely to see if there is a message there meant for them.
Want to see some faces? Check out this photo slideshow by Martin Schoeller from The New Yorker.
OWS vs. The Tea Party
A chart, by The Project for Excellence in Journalism, comparing coverage of Occupy Wall Street v. The Tea Party. (But did it really have to take police clashes and Tea Party comparisons to up coverage of the protests?) Also on the subject: Nate Silver’s (of the NY Times) discussion of coverage.
A TIME poll earlier this month shows that Occupy Wall Street “a fledgling movement with no single leader or obvious sponsor, garners twice as much support among average Americans as the right-wing Tea Party.” Quoted in last week’s article from TIME that’s comprehensive, offers context and is actually balanced.
Read These Articles.
Appreciation for the truly democratic process that’s shaped the movement from Tikkun blogger.
An analysis of the 53% by Claire Snyder-Hall. I particularly enjoyed reading this, especially her rebuttal to the anti-ode against liberal arts degrees:
I don’t know how many of the OWS protestors have liberal arts degrees, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them do, since it is precisely the liberal arts education that allows a person to be able to thematize the whole, to think systematically, and to understand large processes like globalization, instead of remaining mired in the minutia of his own personal experiences.
Another notable article with interesting commentary from Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi.
To all the people out in all weathers, making public woes that those in power would rather we keep private, I am keen on you. I am grateful to you. Thank you for being willing to risk discomfort, derision, tear gas, beatings, arrest, and injustice for the sake of justice. Keen on! And may the voice you lift for us all become a shout of joy.
A perfect example of the dialogue that is proliferating because of the movement. Occupy the Classroom from NY Times’ Nicholas D. Kristof.
I think I only included this one to introduce you to Big Think.com. And because he quotes Sachs…it’s an interesting read:
As the economist Jeffrey Sach’s argues in his recent book “The Price of Civilization,” Obama might be more accurately seen as a transitional president rather than a transformational one.
Originally from TomDispatch but I’m linking to Utne Reader, where I read it because everyone should read Utne. And a quote:
If, on a planet in crisis, their government has repeatedly failed them, the Wall Street demonstrators deserve a small, hopeful cheer for their efforts. They may not be the perfect size and shape for the movement of everyone’s dreams, but they’re here and, right now, that says the world.
On the Movement & Technology
NY Times reports on Pastebin, originally a tool for programmers to paste snippets of code, but now a way for protesters to (anonymously) put information into the public stream.
The New Yorker reports on Global Revlution, live-streaming protests and the interesting Mr. Teichberg behind it.
Occupy Design! This is genius and fantastic because infographics are so incredibly useful to communicate effectively.
A really interesting perspective on trending and what makes news from Megan Garber at Nieman Journalism Lab. Basically, #OccupyWallStreet hasn’t trended on Twitter because Twitter’s algorithm only picks up on quick rises. #OWS has bene gradual and consistently present. Her two-cents:
But what’s most interesting, to me, are the assumptions baked into the Trending Topics algorithm in the first place. On the one hand, it’s perfectly fair — in fact, it’s perfectly necessary — to define “trends” as brief ruptures of the ordinary. Spikes, you know, speak. But the algorithm’s assumption is also one that’s baked into the cultural algorithm of journalistic practice: We tend, as reporters and attention-conveners, to value newness over pretty much everything else. Again, on the one hand, that’s absolutely appropriate — “the news,” after all — but on the other, the institutional obsession with newness often impedes journalists’ ability to address the biggest issues of the day — the economy, the environment, the effects of the digital transition on global culture — within conventional narrative frameworks. Just as #OccupyWallStreet, in Twitter’s algorithm, competes against #KimKWedding, we pit the long-term and the temporary against each other, forcing them to compete for people’s (and journalists’) attention. We accept that the slow-burn stories have to fight for space against the shocking, the spiking, the evanescent. Which is unfortunate, since the most important topics for journalists to address are often the ones that are the opposite of “trending.”
So this is not exactly about technology but about how to cover a protest and the potential of web journalism. I have mixed feelings about Owens’ argument but following the Twitter article above, the fact that the movement is enduring does lend itself to a foundation for so many different angles to report on.
Aljazeera on Occupying the World…a comprehensive piece if you’ve been wondering what’s going on.
So! The beauty of news in our generation? We can take a little bit from each of these sources and come up with our own critical questions. Feel free to post links to what you’re reading! The list could go on forever (but I have to stop somewhere)…and the dialogue must as well.
This is a simple observational piece by Keith Boykin at the HuffPost. I don’t usually like to reblog the HuffPost. Also, I have a lot more to say about Occupy Wall Street.(Post coming…soon!) But the meantime, it’s food for thought.
“For art criticism we need people who would show the senselessness of looking for ideas in a work of art, and who instead would continually guide readers in that endless labyrinth of linkages that makes up the stuff of art, and bring them to the laws that serve as the foundation for those linkages.”—Leo Tolstoy, making an early case for content curation, quoted in Harold Bloom’s ambitious The Anatomy of Influence (via curiositycounts)
The inspiration for this project was, in the first place, to wade through the slush of internet. Granted I’ve been posting a pretty general collection of things born from my frustration reading the news. One of the most interesting questions for me, is what would a really great news literacy class look like? Then there is this article, News Literacy, What Not To Do from Nieman Reports. I generally like them and I like the intro. The best part, however, is Dean Miller’s comment (and he’s already been on my radar as perhaps the most wonderful source on this topic). Check it out. Also see: The Center for News Literacy’s syllabus.
"In my perspective … science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life. It’s not something that should be relegated to 5 percent of the population over in the corner. It’s something that everybody should be exposed to and everyone should have mastery of to some extent, and that’s how we viewed computation and these computation devices." - Steve Jobs in a 1996 interview with NPR.
“What if readers were able to help newsdesks work out which stories were worth investing precious reporting resources in? What if all those experts who delight in telling us what’s wrong with our stories after they’ve been published could be enlisted into giving us more clues beforehand? What if the process of working out what to investigate actually becomes part of the news itself?”—
The Guardian is opening itself up this week. Via a blog it’s showing the public — and its competitors — exactly what they’re working on and what they plan to publish.
They’re doing so via their Inside the Guardian blog with the idea that if they’re transparent about the stories coming down the pike, readers will engage by feeding them tips and ideas they might not otherwise have known about.
According to Roberts, the experiment will last this week. If successful, they’ll continue. If not they’ll shut it down. We’re interested to see what happens.