Will Bunch, blogging for The Philadelphia Daily News, does believe in a Big Media Brownout of the Wall Street Protests:
It could indeed be the case, but Will Bunch even acknowledges that there has been some Big Media Coverage:
"That's not to say there hasn't been some level of news coverage -- including from the newsrooms of the New York Times. The Times has published three blog posts about the protests, although they were not easy to find on the web site (here and here-- you had to navigate well below the layer of Ray's Pizza) and the Washington Post has also published blog posts (here and here) and even photo essays, which is good way of saying "look at these crazy and colorful kids" without addressing the actual issues. I've noticed that a lot of the American coverage that I found through Google News was in the form of online photo essays. Look, I'm somebody with one foot in the blogging world and the other foot still planted in the mentality of the old-fashioned newsroom, and I can tell you that sometimes buried blog posts and photo essays are a way to say you "covered" something without, you know, actually covering it, not in a way that counts."
(Please see the Will Bunch blog for the links.)
Fair enough, but I'm working on another theory, not necessarily a competing one, but one that could also make sense to Big Media. Well, here goes: the larger media entities are merely good media capitalists, and possibly even thoughtful people (I know!), and, perhaps, they are thinking, "Hey, Adbusters is going to pay for advertising if that's partly what this is about." They've probably seen the ads for Red Bull that play during the livestream of the protests at adbusters.org, and they've probably seen that protestors who don't share in the ad revenue are getting arrested, and they've probably thought through these things a bit and in fact are somewhat genuinely apprehensive about running a lot of stories about such a commodified protest.
Or, Big Media will just do anything to capture and grow their own young audience while fending off a smaller player like Adbusters?
Or, they haven't thought much about it at all because hundreds of protestors just aren't such a Big Story for Big Media?
Or, as Will Bunch notes, they have looked out the skyscraper window--and they're scared?
Sigh and move on, I suppose, but in closing, I'll note that at least one law firm is offering pro bono services to help process arrested protestors through the legal system.
I'm not sure if that's the moral equivalent of giving away the cigarettes for free.
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