In-Depth Analysis of Journalistic Integrity

IndyMedia analyzes how the corporate media, assumed to be “objective”, spins a basic student protest over a visit by George W. Bush into a “violent, angry, confrontational, irresponsible, chaotic, anonymous, difficult, rowdy crowd,” etc etc. The raw footage reveals a very different story than the edited, corporate media version (via KATU).

For example, the protesters are falsely accused of “endangering the reporter” so that the cameras can cut away, rather than allow the protesters’ message to be heard through a live feed on television. The reporter is never in danger, and the only volatile “event” to be documented is the message being chanted repeatedly by the crowd, which is comprised of children, adults, and the elderly — no one is in danger until a homophobic Bush supporter enters the chanting crowd to punch an openly gay man. The police don’t prevent this hate crime; one of the “anarchic” protesters stops and diffuses it. And that’s just one tactic the corporate media uses to “radicalize” dissenting voices and render them “anarchic” or too irrational to be heard — these voices express anti-capitalistic sentiments, and in essence, condemn corporate media for selling out their principles and integrity and promoting capitalistic values.

Out the window goes journalism principle number 5:

It must serve as an independent monitor of power

Journalism has an unusual capacity to serve as watchdog over those whose power and position most affect citizens. The Founders recognized this to be a rampart against despotism when they ensured an independent press; courts have affirmed it; citizens rely on it. As journalists, we have an obligation to protect this watchdog freedom by not demeaning it in frivolous use or exploiting it for commercial gain.




12 thoughts on “In-Depth Analysis of Journalistic Integrity

  1. Pingback: The Class Blog! « Amy King’s Alias

  2. It’s hard to believe how blatantly the media spins stories. Just another example of why citizen journalists, who have a clear and stated bias, are so important. The average viewer of KATU may not expect them to be spinning a story against a peaceful student protest. But when a student-run blog says that the police were harassing students at a protest, the reader knows to take that with a grain of salt.

  3. If you are worried about your perception in the media maybe you should take the rag off your face. The media is a pawn in which the most skilled practitioners of social control can use to their advantage. Malcom X had a large following during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. However, he was often portrayed in the media as a radical. This portrayal of Malcom X as a radical severely limited his ability to bring about change, and consequently improve the lives of his followers, which to the contrary of what some believe was most definitely his ultimate goal. Unlike Malcom X Martin Luther King Jr. was able to portray himself in a positive light despite the difficulties of the situation he was faced with. He had an attitude that was like you can break my bones but they will heal; however, the images of you beating and hosing innocent people will be forever ingrained in the minds of the American people. He learned how to create these powerful images of nonthreatening social resistance from Mahatmas Ghandi who a few years earlier was trying to free the Indian people from imperialist rule. By always holding the moral high ground and looking as non -threating as possible we can begin to used the media to influence public perception of all demonstrations. The protesters clearly did not understand the powerful nature of images, and consequently kneecapped themselves by dressing in a manner that is akin to some type of terrorist. Perception is everything always.

  4. I hate to start this comment off topic, but at 7:00 the girl screaming made me laugh really really hard.

    Haven’t protesters learned by now? You need to play by the rules.
    “Fuck the corporate media” doesn’t really do much besides separate the protesters more from the people they want to influence.

    -shrug-. Elaine Murphy didn’t deny lying when confronted. Just saying.


  5. This is definitely an example of how editing in video can be either positive or negative depending on who is doing the actual editing. It becomes so easy to string together a series of either good or bad images, and while this is done in print with words, I would argue that it makes more of an impact when it is visual.

    Unfortunately, I feel like this is another way in which irresponsible journalism can turn one story in to another one altogether, especially when turning the focus on something that might have been more insignificant or unnecessary in the first place.

    It is really gross.

  6. Ugh. I was turned off right from the beginning with the vulgarity and began to think about the motivations of the protesters. I think their message was completely right, but the way they went about it showed them in a bad light. Young, college students (or anyone)need to be aware of how they are perceived visually, especially when they are on tv. Some were even dancing, as if it was a RAVE. The last thing law enforcement wants to see are people associated with drugs and all night illegal parties.

    I remember being in Rome, and maybe 20 people were lying on the floor, like art. I actually took a picture thinking it was art. They were protesting the war…silently. Peaceful? Yes. Productive? Who knows.

    Now, the newscasters, also rediculous…so frantic! The woman reminded me of how my mom yells on her cell phone because she can’t hear HERSELF. She clearly wanted to be in the middle of everything, but going as far as needing a bodyguard is unwarranted, no? She definitely wanted their reactions, and guess what she did, when they all gave the middle finger in unison….so classy.

    It was just ugly overall. The message is right, the delivery is not. If that was on my tv, I would change it. There is/was definitely a need for the protesters to show a new light on media lies, and they should keep fighting for what they believe! It’s so sad it has to be this way.

  7. Unfortunately the right to protest isn’t even sacred anymore. The media covering the story is only rilling the crowd up further when the report is taking place but act as if they’re the good guys.

    I’ve noticed that the video did touch on the hypocrisy and double standard the right wing has in its argument. They can threathen all they like but threaten them and they’ll call the cops (are dear friends) in to arrest you. I hate right wing media more than I hate soap operas. That’s a high level of hate!

  8. Like many commenters before me, I agree whole heartedly that there is a disgusting bias. My jaw really dropped when it was the homophobic Bush supporters causing the only threats. It is unfortunate,how ever, in which the way the students went about the protest. It is not very effective amongst the probable democratic educated audience in which they chose to target. The media did not even need to edit the protest. Burning American flags just turns people’s heads in the other direction. While I agree with the students on many points, calling the U.S. a police state and wearing bandanas like radical terrorist’s just over washes their vitally important point: that the corporations control every aspect of our country. AND, yes we ALL have a right to be mad about the lies.

  9. Honestly, this clip is just a reminder and an eye opener to those who do not know about who really is in control when it comes to the freedom we as united States citizens are automatically entitled to. America is corrupt and trash. To watch the way the government’s dogs (police) behave towards its community is just sick. The media is “the target.” We as people will never get better until these middle aged white men who sit on capital hill begin to think about what they are doing to us a people. They need realize what they are doing to the future of the United States, and believe you and me when I say I’ll wait on it. Yeah “they don’t like the media,” alright.

  10. Unfortuneately, my one word to describe this protest is disgust. It amazes me how people can act so inhumane on both sides of the story. The protesters and media were simply feeding off of each other whether they were aware of it or not. These young kids were acting as if it was a party rather than a way to send a serious message. I dont think the vulgarity in their languge is needed to express themselves, other than the image they were trying to create of being cool. Their is nothing cool in the burning of the flag either since we still have our young men in uniform overseas dying so people like that can be free do something even so disgracefull. My point of view is that they are not supressed but have too much freedom in their lives that they dont know what to do with it exept abuse it. And the media makes this type of demonstration eyecandy and guilty pleasures for typical americans. Mabey if we focused our attention on peace, a clearer understading would come across that it is a gift to even have the right to protest.

  11. Personally, I believe coperate media knows that by having some kind of vulgarity or threat in a film can automatically get any viewer to listen up! As far as we know these people where peaceful protesters that were made out to be evil criminals. This just goes to show how these reporters misuse and lie about the protesters image.

  12. Honestly it’s not hard to believe how blatantly the media can turn a story around. They know exactly how to draw the viewers in and editing the film to make those protester appear hostile is nothing new. Off topic but very similar, look at how the tried to portray Sean Bell.

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