Occupy Wall Street and the Mainstream Media, or–What’s my Job again?

What's my job again?

Occupy Wall Street is putting new issues on the table that the mainstream media is all too happy to sweep under the rug, namely growing wealth inequality. The media has increasingly proved itself to be ill-equipped at representing the voice of anyone except the elites of the United States, but the Occupy movement has really thrown a wrench in the machine, bringing events to people before journalists have an opportunity to put their pants on.

The question has become: Why even read the media when you can get the events straight from the source? Video cameras and photography are much better at providing the reality of what’s happening on the ground during this protest movement, so what’s the point of reading the hollow words of some reporter who looks to be more out of touch than a grandpa at a dub-step show? Has the media lost it’s value at showing people the “truth”?

A recent piece in the New York Times puts the head-scratching of elite journalists into glaring perspective. The Times

“reached out to journalists outside The Times who have been editors and understand the challenge of mobilizing reporters and editors to cover complex stories.”

The responses were pretty pathetic. Including an illuminating response from a former editor of the Lexington Herald-Ledger, “If I were an assigning editor, I’d start with the basic 5 W’s and How,” he said.

Really? So you would do what every journalism student is taught on the first day of journalism school. What a novel idea. The Times is so out of touch with what is going on at Liberty Square they are grasping in the dark for a direction. Sure, the story is huge in terms of scope and geographical area, but come on. Might I recommend maybe going down there to talk to people directly? Conduct an interview and some of that other reporting stuff journalists used to do.

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