Ted Morgan wrote:
the real problem, as I see it, is
>that demonstrations that are trying to articulate a radical critique --a
>of the system which encompasses media, legislatures, & elections-- find
>media are closed off to that point of view, to a radical critique.
>media are no more capable of comprehending truly radical criticism, than
>are of disassociating from & ignoring market imperatives. That's why we
>many articles on the recent LA-Philly demonstrations that, well, just don't
>it,' that are asking 'what DO these people want?' [And of course, that
>of the media --very much market driven-- is riveted by the various
>of the "alien other" represented in the 'bizarre' behaviors, attire, etc.
>yes, age) of protesters.
>So, it's a very tough dilemma.
Is it really so tough? Our points of contact with the media are reporters.
Our strategy, then, should be to help reporters do their work. They need
our guidance and want it. (I was not among the demonstrators, but have
empathy for some of their goals (as I understand them), and I find it easier
to use the first-person perspective)
How do reporters work? Good reporters DON'T take conclusions and run with
them. They want quotes, photos, and other information that are related and
tell a story -- want readers to draw their own conclusions. Its easy to
get quotes, photos, etc. -- but if this information does not hang together,
reporters will report what they see -- a bunch of people making a fuss about
vague generalities. That media articles 'don't get it,' and have to ask
'what DO these people want?' represents our failing, not theirs. It's true
that media are market driven. That's why they don't waste space on
To be taken seriously, we have to articulate what we want or dont want.
Most of us can do this as individuals, but individual demonstrations are not
taken seriously. Unfortunately, thats the way demonstrations in Philly and
LA were perceived -- as demonstrations by individuals and by small (and
If we want demonstrations to be effective (and why else would we
demonstrate?), then why not prepare more thoroughly for the events. The
media reported some tactical preparation, but where were the strategic
preparations? Where was the collaboration among groups to generate
themes -- core demands? How could we use this collaboration to add
legitimacy to our demands? Finally, for even more legitimacy, why not
collaborate with the people -- those for whom we claim to demonstrate?
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