STAFF EDITORIAL: Don’t believe everything you read: Check out Occupy Oakland for yourself

By
November 4, 2011

Among the thousands of protesters who gathered in the streets of downtown Oakland during Nov. 2’s General Strike, one woman wearing a blonde wig and holding a homemade newscaster microphone caught our eye.

Claiming to be from “Fox Skews,” a parodical reference to the conservatively-slanted news station, she intermittently gave bits of breaking news reports, such as “There aren’t that many people here, probably only five or six,” “We’re not sure what they want or what they’re upset about” and “These people are not your average citizens; they are a lazy few and should just get jobs.”

The woman’s costume and performance cleverly critiqued the dismissive tone mainstream media has long shown in their coverage of progressive political movements. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is part of the one percent, after all. His net worth was valued at $7.6 billion by Forbes magazine last September.

Specifically in regards to the Occupy protests, many of us rolled our eyes when we saw the print and air time given to the few violent instances at the General Strike, for they overshadowed the incredible nature of what happened: 10 thousand people came together to foster democracy and community.

As a weekly college newspaper, it is a struggle for us to cover the ongoing Occupy Oakland movement. We have gotten used to juggling school and reporting to cover college events, but covering a complex, multi-faceted national movement, which is growing at lightning speed in our own backyard, is challenging, to say the least.

In addition, the wide variety of events within the movement, the police’s actions and the City’s official stance on the state of the campsite are in a constant state of flux.

The Campanil welcomes any student who wishes to join our writing staff, especially to help cover the Occupy movement. With a movement as dynamic as this one, the world needs as many diverse perspectives as possible in order to accurately document the events.

While uploading some pictures to your Facebook of you and your friends at the protest may not necessarily qualify as journalism at its finest, it is documentation. If you have been coming out to the Occupy marches, you have noticed by now that there are as many (or more) protestors holding signs as there are holding cameras to take pictures and videos.

Staff Picks for Occupy News:

1.  Oakland North:   This hyperlocal news site run by Berkeley Journalism School graduate students has been on the scene since the very beginning.
2.  Democracy Now!:  An independent news show which provides diverse perspectives and coverage rarely seen or heard in the corporate-sposored media.  Watch or listen on TV, the radio, or online every weekday.
3. OccupyOakland.org:  Find meeting minutes from General Assemblies, information about upcoming events, and even a platform to upload your own coverage of Occupy Oakland.

Don’t always trust what you read or see, even if it has a big name like San Francisco Chronicle or New York Times on top of it.  Do your own reporting and research. Our staff has compiled a list of places we trust for news, especially news regarding Occupy Oakland shown in the sidebar to the right.

Of course, another way to really know is to experience it for yourself. Our staff encourages you to quit learning about the movement second-hand via your Facebook newsfeed.  Instead, attend a General Assembly or march to see what’s going on.

General  Assemblies are held at 7 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

To watch what’s going on with Occupy Oakland in real time right now, you can go to  livestream.com/occupyoakland.


STAFF EDITORIAL: Don’t believe everything you read: Check out Occupy Oakland for yourself was published on November 4, 2011 in Editorial, Opinions

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