mardi, mars 23, 2010

So where were they?

To this stay-at-home slacker (ok, so I had a sermon to write and church service to lead) the irony seemed inescapable.

Two of my friends attended marches this weekend.

One of them chronicled a Tea Party protest of the Democrat's health care reform initiative.

The other attended and videotaped a march in support of immigrants, undocumented workers, and wholesale immigration reform.

What united these two groups? Not a heck of a lot but conviction.

Thousands of people in the street. Speeches. Signs. Passion. I've been on enough marches to know that those who attend almost always feel the media called the numbers wrong.

The thing that fascinated me was that both groups apparently felt ignored or undercovered by the so-called MSM, the "mainstream media."

I've been wondering why so many of us engaged in the political process feel unworthy of notice by the media -- and I ain't talking about that reality show you think you'd be wonderful on.

It takes nothing away from commenters and advocates to wonder if perhaps the issue is larger and more complicated and can't be reduced to one major factor.

Yes, questions of bias, lack of representation in newsrooms, or even a reporter's cultural context are all legitimate.

In any given situation, from any one journalist, all of these may play into the mix.

Yet just as often, I have a feeling that what impelled lack of coverage might have been that one particular editor, with fewer and fewer journalists to assign to a story, decided something else was more important.

I don't have an answer -- or I think that there are many possible answers. But I'm intrigued that the press continues to be held accountable for sins of commision and omission in this respect -- even as they vanish.

5 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Part of it could be the editor condensing everything into a 3 minute sound bite.

Amy a dit…

i, too, have loved ones on all sides of political and ideological debates--tea partiers and bleeding heart liberals. and i have a hard time condemning even those i vehemently disagree with when their convictions seem pure, as you say here.

Elizabeth a dit…

Welcome, Amy! Thanks for your good comments.

Sabrina Vourvoulias a dit…

The MSM gets blamed for a lot of things it really shouldn't be, especially in this era of dwindling resources and newspaper meltdown.

But the lack of representation in newsrooms, particularly on the editorial level, predates the newspaper crisis.

Frankly, it is one of the reasons citizen journalism has such appeal -- as suspect as the news can be coming from such unprofessional sources, at least it comes from a variety of unprofessional sources. ;-)

BTW, one of my coworkers swears the only people who go to demonstrations/marches/rallies are "of a certain generation" or "of a specific group."

What do you think?

BigLittleWolf a dit…

Excellent points, Elizabeth. Even as I occasionally point out that anyone can take "data" and use it to inject bias into a news story, or that we shouldn't accept all conclusions presented by journalists we read online, I also recognize and remark on the fact that the journalists who remain employed are under incredible pressure to pump out stories.

Fewer journalists, instantaneous media, twitter updates (with or without voracity) - journalism is a minefield, yet we still need our investigators, our critical social eyes - whatever the position - making their cases in words.

In print or online.

As for the editors, I think they're as pressured as the writers and everyone else in the virtual or literal newsroom. Rock and a hard place, in our quick-fix, sound byte lifestyle.