If a revolution happens and the media ignores it, does it really happen?

Wall Street

The occupy movement has occupied Wall Street for nearly four weeks. There is similar protests in Boston, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta and San Francisco. They claim that they are part of the 99% of the United States in income. American households that are on the 99th percentile will bring home just over $500,000 annually in income. That is the top end of the 99%. The top 1 percent of income earners receive approximately 20% of the entire countries income. The top 1 percent also have a net worth that is approximately 33% of the wealth in America. Several banking institutions, such as Bank of America, have begun introducing a few five dollar fee for the shocking need of actually accessing your own money. A lot of people are repeating the saying that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. There doesn’t appear to be any exception at present.

This is why and what is happening. Entering it’s fourth week at Wall Street as well as many other protests springing up in other American cities, the amount of coverage by the mainstream news media appears to also be in the 1%. The only time reports appear about these protests is when someone is arrested. On the front page of the BBC website today, there is a headline that says Arrests hit Occupy Boston Rally. There is nothing on the front page CBC website, and while there is a small amount on the CNN website, there is a larger headline on Bully-proofing your kids.

We rely on the news media for information about the world outside our own little world. Be it television, paper or electronic, we all read or watch information and then use our own ways to decipher what we take in and what we actually believe. Everyone has their own agendas and organizations have theirs. If you watch reports from Fox News and CBC on the same subject, it can seem that there are two totally events going on. While the focus may have a grain of truth, opinions, commentary and even ‘facts’ can slant a story which ever way the presenters, be it editors or producers, wish it to be slanted.

A quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin (or according to one website Edgar Allan Poe), “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.” has never been more appropriate. In an age with instant access to information, there is a danger of relying on only one or two sources for information. We should be careful as to which sources we choose.

In the UK, there are a few tabloid newspapers, some of which are more aligned to a certain political party than others. One would be more in favour of the Labour party, another might be more in favour of the Conservatives. To get a truer picture of what is happening, it is probably better to read a newspaper from each political leaning and then try to match up facts find the truth.

It is very easy to get all conspiracy theory with this but the truth is that it is very difficult to present something totally without bias. In everyday life, we are faced with explaining or describing something and how many can honestly do it without adding a slant, no matter how little it may be. If we are unable to do so, large organizations will also face the same issue which leads us back to the Occupy Wall Street protest. I have spoken to a couple of people recently who, while watching and reading the news, were totally oblivious to the protest. So I ask again:

If a revolution happens and the media ignores it, does it really happen? Well, does it?

Lyrics from Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Something happening here’

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

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