Is Mainstream Media Anti-Occupy?
1st off I am not a conspiracy theorist but several other Occupy Wall Street blogs suggest to some degree an existent level of bias in main stream media when it comes to reporting the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
Political Bias is evident in the reporting (I.e Fox News bias to the right, MSNBC bias to the left) but that is not only limited to the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It has been speculated that there is a different overall bias present in main stream media reporting Occupy Wall Street. This reporting bias in main stream media, whether intentional or not, has created a general negative stigma about Occupy Wall Street and has evoked some criticism claiming mainstream media is anti-occupy. (http://www.alternet.org/occupywallst/153001/blatantly_biased_tabloids_and_clueless_mainstream_media_keep_missing_the_obvious_big_story_at_ows?page=2)
Critics claim examples of this can be found in major main stream media outlet:(http://www.breakingcopy.com/media-bias-occupy-wall-street)
- New York Times has taken criticism for running articles with headlines such as “Zoo-Cotti” and “Enough!” (Referring to protesters)
What has caused this overall reporting bias in reporting Occupy Wall Street?
The political bias is unarguable but there are some other factors in reporting bias which are less examined. It ironic but it could be speculated that the bias present in mainstream reporting could be accounted to the economic factors in corporations which own mainstream media outlets.
Main Stream Media is Controlled by the 1%
Occupy Wall Street is a movement most well known for its 99% vs 1% ideology. Without going into the nuances of the motives of Occupy Wall Street it is safe to assume there is an anti “1%” sentiment among the movement. This may play a role in anti-occupy reporting as the owners, CEO’s, and senior executives of these companies controlling major media outlets all make yearly salaries which would put them in the 1%. Even most T.V reporters for these mainstream outlets make enough income to put them in the 1%. Sources estimate T.V anchors earn
between $460,000-2 million per year. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Shepard Smith make between $7-10 million dollars. (http://www.ehow.com/about_7581722_average-salary-fox-news-anchor.html)
This is not to say their is a conspiracy against Occupy Wall Street by the “1%” CEO’s and Media exec’s but it helps to give perspective into why an anti-occupy bias may exist. In a simple sense members of the 1% are in control of all the main stream reporting of movement led by the 99%.
The video below touches on the impact of wealth in current reporting, and the bias it creates.
Media Outlets are still businesses operating to make a profit
Another major criticism of the mainstream reporting of the OWS movement is that the images and stories reported in mainstream misrepresent and sensationalize the Occupy Wall Street movement to paint Occupy protestors as violent, disobedient and dirty, while mainstream reporting fails to report non-violent or positive events.
Another reason which can be considered to explain this criticism is at the end of the day these mainstream media outlets are businesses operating for profit. The growing competition for readers and viewers has made it more important to attract readers. It is no surprise mainstream media outlets are focusing more on controversial and more provoking images and stories in reporting the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Critic’s claim that mainstream media are over reporting Criminal delinquency, public destruction, and civil disobedience in an attempt to grab viewers away from competition.
But Can this Argument be used both ways?
Although this post mainly presents examples of Anti-Occupy Reporting in mainstream media, the argument used above about sensationalization in Media is also used by other groups to argue mainstream media misrepresents police brutality to bring sympathy to the Occupy Movement. It is important that this is briefly presented so that readers of this post are also informed their is just as much criticism against mainstream media for being pro-occupy.
Important thing to take away: It always not clear where the bias in mainstream media exists or why but it will always exist in mainstream reporting