Monday, October 27, 2014

As Some Ferguson Protesters Turn On The Media, Others Cover Demonstrations Themselves

FERGUSON, Mo. -- As demonstrations have dragged on in this suburb of St. Louis since a police officer killed Michael Brown in August, some protesters have begun focusing their anger not only at the police but also at members of the media they believe have misrepresented both the 18-year-old and their movement.
Tension over how the media has covered Ferguson isn't new. Supporters of officer Darren Wilson protested outside a local news station in August after the station aired footage outside Wilson's home, and looters and some aggressive demonstrators threatened reporters during the height of the protests that same month. One poll in September even indicated that one of the only things many black and white residents of St. Louis County could agree on was that media coverage had only made the Ferguson situation worse.
But in recent weeks, as outlets have published leaked information from the grand jury that is deciding whether to charge Wilson in connection with Brown's death, many protesters have turned their ire toward reporters both online and at the scene of demonstrations in Ferguson. In addition to being upset about the leaked information and what they say is an unfair portrayal of Brown, many demonstrators disapprove of how their actions have been portrayed in the news.
On one night, some protesters agreed not to talk to any members of the media because the protesters didn't think reporters should cover the arrest of a state senator. On another night, protesters yelled and chanted at camera crews from both CNN and a local television station until the crews moved away from demonstrations outside the Ferguson Police Department.
Given the large role social media played in focusing national attention on Ferguson, it's unsurprising that Twitter has become a top source for observers and supporters of protesters.
Several prominent demonstrators have gained a significant social media following through their coverage of the protests, even tweeting while in police custody and offering first-person perspectives from within the demonstrations. Several livestreamers often broadcast from the site of demonstrations. Two Ferguson protesters -- 29-year-old Deray McKesson of Minneapolis and 25-year-old Johnetta Elsie of St. Louis -- are publishing their own newsletter on the Ferguson movement.
"We have to be our own news," Elsie told The Huffington Post. "There's no St. Louis Post-Dispatch protester edition."
Elsie said she and other protesters have decided only to speak to certain news outlets and reporters who they believe have portrayed the demonstrations fairly. She said one CNN producer tried to arrange a sit-down interview with her and McKesson and other protesters so that protesters would continue to allow CNN to broadcast from outside the Ferguson Police Department. That didn't happen, because other protesters said they wanted to see CNN's coverage treat protesters more favorably

No comments:

Post a Comment