We The Media

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Everything you say (and do) is being recorded and will be judged in the court of public opinion.

Put aside how you feel both politically and philosophically about the Occupy Wall Street movement and take a few minutes to watch this video (please note: there is some language, so this may not be safe for work)…

Did you notice:

  • Everyone is recording everything – in images, audio and video.
  • The cameras are everywhere.
  • The cameras are not just filming the protest, they are filming the police too.
  • The reporter who winds up getting physical with the police officer has his credentials out in plain sight.
  • The reporter then leverages the social media channels to tell his story.

Who is right? Who is wrong?

This isn’t a question of ethics, legalities or scruples. What you are seeing is not only the power of New Media and Social Media, but the power of the platform. This recording was posted just a few moments after it occurred. How long do you think it will be until we’re able to stream this (in HD and without buffering issues) live and in real time? We’re close. Almost there. Personally, all I could think about when seeing this video for the first time was George Orwell‘s infamous book, 1984 (as a side note: do you notice how militarized the law enforcement officers look?). The only difference between this and 1984 is that the public has the cameras… we’re the ones recording everything.  

We the people? How about we the media.


  1. One of the most gripping things I saw was people being arrested for trying to close their Citibank accounts. It was powerful because I saw it live on Occupy Wall Street’s live feed (which they did using Livestream).

  2. The interesting thing about the rise of cameras at protests is not just the ubiquity, but the need for them to be there at all. It’s growing ever more common for protesters to record the police because they often see it as their only protection against abuse. The hope is that if you put someone on camera, they’re more likely to think “What if this makes it onto Youtube? Will I get fired for acting violently or abusively?”.
    Where this trend goes from here will be interesting to watch.

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