Friday demo turns ugly
I’m reading reports on Twitter from Friday night’s demo that police were particularly harsh, dealing out pepper spray and physically charging protesters in a way we have not seen for some time. (Read back through the usual hashtags, manifencours and ggi, to get a sense of what went on.)
I can’t find any media links for this, though – it’s the long weekend, after all.
Once again, we’ve got media wringing their hands on the one hand, wondering why they can’t compete in the world of the internet, and on the other, a story that should be covered, but which the media either thinks has already been done (it hasn’t, it’s constantly evolving) or that they needn’t bother with because the nine-to-fivers have clocked out for the long weekend, and so have they.
It’s an interesting issue. On the one hand, journalists would maintain, I think, that we need the measured editorial choices of established media to obtain a fair and balanced account of any developing story.
On the other, the raw story is there on Twitter, and we’ve all seen what the established media can do to an evolving story – dumb it down, fail to notice something new because you’re describing it in terms more suitable to something old, or that you’ve so ingrained the editorial policy of spinning such a story in a way that flatters the fears and prejudices of your readership that you can no longer see any new thing with non-jaded eyes.
All of these are filters that distort and sometimes destroy the actual story.
And then there’s the simple assumption that people take the weekend off. If I were teaching a journalism course right now, I’d sum up the situation in three words. Twitter never sleeps.