theenglishview

MULTIMEDIA AND OCCUPY WALL STREET TODAY. | November 17, 2011

I will focus on how new technology has paved the way for “multimedia journalism,” and examine the changing relationship between reporters and readers resulting from this development. This topic naturally follows the subject of my showcase–OCCUPY WALL STREET. Multimedia journalism, enabled by new technologies, has provided readers and journalists alike with new opportunities, as well as transformed how they interact with each other.

The bustle of Zuccotti Park may have been broken by this week’s raid but the Occupy Wall Streeters say they’re all still camping out in cyberspace. Chatrooms, email, message boards, and phones continue to allow protesters to communicate, organize — and mobilize.Text messaging also plays a role. Protesters who were not in Zuccotti knew about the raid “long before news agencies did,” said Drew Hornbein, a fellow protester from Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street’s media camp anchored the protest—a heap of equipment circling a tripod from which a handful of volunteers manned a live stream, updated a blog, and operated an information booth. The tables were strewn with granola bars and the ground was littered with cigarette packs and Red Bull cans. During the quiet first days of the protest, the media team provided a steady stream of free photo and video footage to the bloggers and news sites that began to give the protest media traction. During the arrests yesterday afternoon, police targeted those central to the protest, according to another live stream team member, Vlad Teichberg. Thanks to a broadcast buddy system, they were able to document the arrest of one of the bloggers, he said, and grab a computer from another before his hands were cuffed. According to Ms. Elizabeth Ross, a fellow reporter, recent photos showed a cop lunging at a protester unprovoked, yet the man had been arrested for aggression against the same officer while another shows a group of cops physically flinging a man bodily across the street.

If you asked a journalist ten years ago what their job was, they could respond with “I’m a print journalist” or “I do broadcast.” Today, though, a journalist has to be multi-skilled to keep up with the changing world. They need to know how to write the story and also supplement it and perhaps take video or record sound clips. Not only that, but once the story has been uploaded or printed, they now have a responsibility to lead discussion and to actively engage in it. Journalists can no longer sit idly after reporting a story, expecting readers to read it and then move on. Readers want to talk about what they read and engage with people all over the world. Journalists need to embrace this new movement and serve as leaders and role models.

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