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Why corporate media will never tell our story

by mark marbles Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 6:40 AM
mark@musicnote.com utopia

These are just a few of the reasons that corporate media will never report fairly (or at all) on this movement.

The corporate media's "coverage" of protest activities can be very disheartening for activists, but these are just a few of the reasons that they will never tell our side.

- The corporate media should NEVER be expected to report fairly, or even at all, on events or ideas that threaten it's existence: All corporate media rely solely on revenue from wealthy advertisers in order to operate. In order to justify the cost of (and to maximize revenue from) it's advertising slots, the corporate media requires a large audience of complacent consumers/materialists who are: lobotomized against any tendency toward critical thinking; over-worked due to the belief that pursuit of wealth, property and consumer goods will one day bring them happiness, fulfillment and prestige; without leisure time and therefore unable/unwilling to take the time to become informed through independent media sources; in a state of absolute denial about the effects of a consumerist lifestyle on the planet and on human health (physical and psychological).

These are just a couple of the DESIRED traits of all corporate media target audiences. When pressed, any representative of the corporate media will freely admit that the people they keep as customers have short attention spans, do not understand "hard news" and therefore turn the channel/station/page when presented with it. (This fact was constantly drilled into students' heads -- by professors and industry veterans -- at the university where I attended journalism school, before dropping out). When people tune out, ratings or circulation declines and advertising slots become less valuable. All corporate media censor news that negatively portrays its advertisers, and most do not deny that this practice occurs. Particularly gruesome cases of this have been documented thousands of times in independent press. The political candidates who "run the country" finance their multi-million dollar election campaigns through gifts from these same corporations. What we have in the US is in fact identical to what we point to in other countries as a "state-run media": one official viewpoint represented.

Don't spend too much time and energy begging the corporate media to tell our side of the story -- aside from a few isolated incidents, it will never happen. The promise of the internet is only one step toward rendering corporate media irrelevant and obsolete. In addition to preparing mass mobilizations like those since N30, we all need to return to our communities and continue to organize/network for widespread distribution of independent media via internet, print, indy/pirate radio, creative transformation of public space, public access TV, and so on. We can also do a great deal of good simply by talking to other people. There are probably thousands, if not millions, of young people getting involved whose familes may not yet understand this movement, but who know that their children are not terrorists. They will want to know why their kids are being harrassed and brutilized by police, smeared and ignored by the press, and why it has become a crime to care about anything at all, other than commuting to and from work in a car, working, driving in and out of parking spaces at shopping malls, shopping at shoping malls, complaining about the price of gasoline, and a very few other officially allowed activities.

Remember, the movement as it currently exists is still less than one year old! There has been tremendous progress in drawing attention to things previously unheard of in the corporate american media (WTO, trade "liberalisation", etc).

Thank you to everyone in L.A. this week.

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Repeat this message continuously Vigdor Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 8:04 AM
don't forget who gets the campaign ad $ veblen Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 8:25 AM
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