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.